MT Department of Livestock hosts meeting on disease traceability |

MT Department of Livestock hosts meeting on disease traceability

The Montana Department of Livestock will host a public meeting on animal disease traceability in Helena, MT, Aug. 2 at the Department of Public Health & Human Services Auditorium (111 N. Sanders). Livestock producers and industry stakeholders are encouraged to attend and learn about USDA’s new traceability framework and provide feedback on the future direction of animal disease traceability in Montana.

Shortly after USDA abandoned its unpopular National Animal Identification System (NAIS), the agency developed a new framework that gives states a larger role in designing and implementing traceability programs. This new framework provides basic guidelines for traceability programs with many specifics being left up to the states.

USDA’s new framework will:

• Apply only to animals moved in interstate commerce;

• Be administered by states and tribes to provide more flexibility;

• Encourage the use of least-cost technology, including steel tags; and

• Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and rulemaking processes.

Dr. Martin Zaluski, state veterinarian, said Montana needs a traceability program that works for producers while providing the tools necessary to track animal disease and quickly respond in the case of animal health emergencies.

“We absolutely need traceability, but there were a lot of concerns about NAIS,” said Zaluski. “The new framework was designed to address those concerns, and the result is that states will get to move forward with programs that work for their producers and specific circumstances.”

Zaluski said the meeting will serve to:

• Educate livestock producers, interested stakeholders and the general public about the new traceability framework;

• Outline concepts of traceability performance standards; and

• Provide producers and stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the plan.

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