April 01, 2007


 USDA releases guide for animal identification system

Posted March 15, 2007

The Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on a draft user guide for the National Animal Identification System.

The draft user guide is the most current plan for the NAIS and replaces previous program documents, such as the 2005 Draft Strategic Plan and Draft Program Standards and the 2006 Strategy for the Implementation of NAIS. The guide provides details about program participation and discusses the components of the NAIS—premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking.

Accompanying the draft user guide are a document about data standards and another document about animal tracking databases.

The Program Standards and Technical Reference document provides an update on the data standards for NAIS information. The document serves as a reference for entities participating in NAIS administration to ensure uniformity within the program.

The other document outlines technical specifications for private and state animal tracking databases. The USDA will establish agreements with groups whose databases meet specifications. The USDA's Animal Trace Processing System will allow officials to request information from database administrators in certain situations. The USDA is targeting this spring to start integration of databases with the ATPS.

The NAIS draft user guide and accompanying documents are available on the USDA's NAIS Web site at www.usda.gov/nais. A notice also appeared Feb. 1 in the Federal Register, www.gpoaccess.gov/.

Parties can submit comments on the documents or other aspects of the NAIS by e-mail to animalidcomments@aphis.usda.gov or by mail to NAIS Program Staff, Veterinary Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 200, Riverdale, MD 20737.