Pro Farmer Editors
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will hold a series of listening sessions on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state.
APHIS seeks to gather not only producer comments and concerns, but also potential or feasible solutions to create a program producers can feel comfortable supporting. The listening sessions will include information about the current program, as well as an opportunity to give public testimony or ask program-related questions. Discussion sessions related to NAIS' cost, impact on small farmers, privacy and confidentiality, liability premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing will allow producers to provide their input on ways to make the program into something they can support.
The public meetings will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, with registration one hour prior to each meeting. The meetings will be held in the following locations:
- Thursday, May 14: Harrisburg, Pa.
- Monday, May 18: Pasco, Wash.
- Wednesday, May 20: Austin, Texas
- Thursday, May 21: Birmingham, Ala.
- Friday, May 22: Louisville, Ky.
- Wednesday, May 27: Storrs, Conn.
- Monday, June 1: Greeley, Colo.
Additional information on the meetings can be found at: www.usda.gov/nais/feedback.shtml. In 2004, APHIS began implementing NAIS, an animal traceability system that would enable producers and animal health officials to respond quickly and effectively to animal disease events in the United States. Notice of this action is scheduled for publication in the May 1 Federal Register.