August 9, 2011

 

For More Information Contact:
Peter Orwick (303) 771-3500, ext. 33, or porwick@sheepusa.org
Paul Rodgers (303) 771-3500 or prodgers2@earthlink.net

 DENVER, Colo. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the publication of a proposed rule on animal disease traceability today. The proposed rule follows the announcement of an animal disease traceability framework from 18 months ago as well as several years of discussions and planning with state livestock health officials, the livestock industry and other stakeholders.

 “The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) supports the concept of a national animal disease traceability program and appreciates USDA’s efforts to seek advice and ideas from stakeholders prior to publishing a proposed regulation,” says Jim Logan, DVM, ASI Animal Health Committee chairman. “We are anxious to review the proposed rule and look forward to providing comments to USDA.”

 According to ASI President Margaret Soulen Hinson, “The sheep industry has had a mandatory federal ID system for about 10 years now as a key part of the scrapie eradication program, and we expect that it will be fully recognized and respected in the proposed rule. The system has allowed us to find and trace back diseased and exposed animals and has worked well for our industry.”

The proposed rule for the animal disease traceability program can be accessed at http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-20281_PI.pdf and will be published in the Federal Register on August 11. Specific traceability information for sheep can be accessed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/downloads/2011/FStracsheep.VS.pdf