Meat + Poultry - July 2010 - 22

Washington
it will be carried out, will come from
us," she says. "The new framework
focuses only on animals that move interstate. But animal-disease traceability health certificates will be required
for animals moving interstate, just as it
always has been. USDA will not mandate a one-fits-all approach. But each
state and tribal nation will be able to
determine the specific approaches and
solutions it wants to use to achieve the
minimum animal disease traceability
performance measures. States will actually be able to require higher standards than the federal government.
The federal rule will be the minimum."
Brewer points out the main changes in the new system, compared to

The new system will
be focused entirely on
animal-disease traceability
and will be led and
administered by the states
and tribal nations, not the
federal government.
the old one begun six years ago, are
changes in dynamics. "Under the current NAIS, benchmarks are set consisting mainly of numbers: how many
identification tags, how many animals
to be covered - in other words, a series
of benchmarks to be met.
"In the system we are developing,
animal-disease traceability is much
more concerned about how fast our
actions are going to be in tracing cattle, swine or poultry," Brewer says.
"Where was it born? Where was it
tagged? How long will it take to fi nd
out? That's going to be the top priority under this new system. Other factors will include how to notify a state
or tribe where a shipment of animals
originated; notifying the state where
the animal was officially identified;
how long should the action take, how
many work hours are needed? How
can we establish a baseline for traceability, where are we right now? And
what if a state can't meet the performance standards?"

Brewer emphasized that standards
should focus on tracing animals, not
diseases. During the past few months,
the meetings focused on how to give
states and tribes more responsibility for
their animal disease traceability programs; how to direct interstate livestock
movement through compliance with
performance standards; what kinds of
performance standards should be set;
how to evaluate the capability of tracing animals; what kind of consequences
there should be for noncompliance with
the new rule; and what incentives could
be offered for compliance.
APHIS' Cole says after the failures
of the current program, USDA and
the states decided it was time to take
action to make animal-disease traceability and identification efforts more
workable, feasible and carried out in a
common-sense way. The new approach
responds to a number of concerns
raised by producers that the approach
is too bureaucratic and too expensive.
She says the goal of the new system is
to impose the least burden on producers as possible, while still making sure
that we have effective animal disease
traceability in the U.S.
Cole says by this fall, it is the goal
of APHIS, supported by the state veterinarian and tribal groups, to develop new proposed rulemaking for the
animal disease traceability program.
"By next winter, we hope to publish
performance standards in a proposed
rule for animal-disease traceability in
straightforward, understandable language. And we will offer a comment
period of 90 days to allow ample time
for comments and feedback from all
interested parties," she says.
According to Bethany Shively, a
spokeswoman for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the new
APHIS program applies only to interstate movement of cattle, not movement
of cattle within the states. States will
be able to determine the performance
standards within their individual borders. The performance standards will
be meant for states to utilize to meet
interstate requirements, she says.

22 * Meat&Poultry * July 2010 * www.MeatPoultry.com

Animals are currently traced for
disease to the state where it was officially identified, where it was shipped
from, to the herd of origin, to all the
herds the animal has been in and
movements in and out of affected
herds. The thinking on the part of the
working group is three factors would
make up a basis for interstate traceability performance standards: Tracing animals to the state or tribe where
they were officially identified; tracing
animals to the state they were shipped
from; and notifying the state of origin.

Better baselines needed
"Right now, the current system is
criticized because current tracing
capabilities are inadequate, there is
not a good baseline for the time it
takes to trace the animals, and that
a good baseline must be established
to document tracing capability,"
Brewer says.
As APHIS and the states, cattle,
swine and poultry producers, the
meat and poultry industry and others continue their efforts to develop
a new animal disease traceability
system, their work sessions continue.
Two more public meetings will be
held in July in Salt Lake City, Utah,
and in Fort Worth, Texas.
USAHA's Richey says USDA is
also planning to take additional steps
to strengthen protections against the
entry and spread of disease. These
steps include accelerating actions
to lessen disease risks - posed by
imported animals, beginning and
updating analyses on how animal
diseases travel into the country, improving response capabilities and
focusing on greater collaboration
with states and industry on potential disease risk. ■
Bernard Shire is M&P's Washington correspondent, contributing editor and feature writer
based in Lancaster, Pa. With a background in editing and writing for daily news publications, he
also works as a food safety consultant and writer
for Shire & Associates LLC.
We would like to hear from you - to comment
on this story or to request reprints, contact us
by e-mail at meatpoultry@sosland.com.


http://www.MeatPoultry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat + Poultry - July 2010

Contents
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