USDA announces new funds for premises ID

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced on June 21st that USDA will be accepting funding applications from state and tribal governments to continue registering premises for the national animal identification system. Approximately $14.3 million will be available to state and tribal cooperators.

"Identifying farms and ranches where animals are held is a first step in establishing our national animal identification system," said Johanns. "More than 80,000 premises have been registered so far and that momentum is building."

Currently, animal health officials conduct disease trace outs with systems already in place, such as records related to program diseases, on-farm recordkeeping, required interstate movement certificates and breed registries. However, these epidemiologic investigations may take days to weeks to complete because records are often kept on paper or because they are not standardized across state lines.

In 2004, APHIS and its state, tribal and industry partners began implementing a national system that will help trace diseased or potentially diseased animals to their point of origin more quickly and efficiently. Identifying premises-or locations that manage or hold animals-is the first step toward creating the tracking system. Currently, 47 states and 5

tribes have approved premises registration systems, and APHIS anticipates that all 50 states will be on board by July 2005.

The $14.3 million announced today will help state and tribal governments continue the premises registration efforts they started last year. Of this total, $13.5 million will be immediately available to the states. A certain amount has been set aside for each one based on its livestock population, land area and other factors. To receive funding, applicants will need to submit a detailed work plan and budget breakout, as well as performance measures. APHIS officials have also reserved $845,000 for the tribes and are working with tribal liaisons to determine the most equitable method of distribution.

Funding application packages will be posted on the Web site at / on Monday, June 20. The deadline for applications is July 25. Following the selection process, all applicants will be notified of their funding status.

On May 6, USDA unveiled a draft strategic plan and draft program standards, which outline projected timelines and potential avenues to achieve NAIS milestones. The Department is soliciting public comment about these documents through July 6. Copies of both are available on the NAIS Web site at