The USDA will provide an additional $1.5 million for National Animal Identification System cooperative agreements with states. Specifically, the funds have been set aside to support premises registration activities.
"A National Animal Identification System will help locate premises where animals are born, managed, marketed, or exhibited. States that applied for funding in July and were not selected at that time are now eligible for a portion of the $1.5 million if they meet specified requirements," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman.
The system will allow for rapid tracking of livestock exposed to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and other infectious pathogens. Earlier this year, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service received a transfer of $18.8 million from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation to begin implementing the animal identification system. Of this amount, APHIS originally set aside $11.64 million for cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments. The USDA has now set aside an additional $1.5 million to fund additional cooperative agreements. The remainder of the funds is being used in support of other aspects of the national system.
In August, APHIS selected 29 projects from more than 40 applications for cooperative agreement funding. The focus of those cooperative agreements is chiefly on premises identification and registration. Some states and tribes will be evaluating animal identification technologies to determine how the collection of records can be automated.
Each of the states that applied this past summer but were not selected have been notified that they are now eligible for a minimum of $100,000 to carry out premises registration activities. Depending on the number of livestock operations in the state, that amount could be increased by up to $30,000.
The National Animal Identification System continues to be a USDA priority. The president's fiscal year 2005 budget requests $33 million to continue supporting its implementation, and a portion of these funds would be used for additional cooperative agreements with states and tribes.