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National Animal I.D. Gets Revamp [AUDIO]

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Development in Washington of a reworked National Animal I.D. system is coming along. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, says they hope to finalize this livestock program by the summer.

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The Animal Traceback system, as it’s now called, is a voluntary program that should simplify tracing animals from the point of slaughter back to its origin in the event of disease.

“We’re confident this will be a better system than the one it replaces and we hope there will be greater participation.”

That’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack alluding to the orginal program run by USDA, that had trouble getting livestock operators to sign on. Jim Magagna, of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association, says they’re waiting for more details before they can judge the reworking.

“As I understand it, it’s going to set some guidelines and then basically allow the individual states to proceed with, hopefully, a reasonable degree of freedom as to how they meet those guidelines.”

State Veterinarian, Jim Logan, has taken part in the process. He says he supports trace back and he believe producers do as well, but he says it has to work for the industry.

“If it doesn’t work for the industry and if doesn’t work at the speed of commerce at livestock markets it will be very difficult to ever make it be acceptable.”

Logan says resistance continues, but simplification of the system will help.

He believes there’s still a lot of work to be done and he’s doubtful they’ll be finished by summer.

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