February 04, 2005

Idaho Delegation Reacts To Animal Identification Grant

Coalition to receive over $1 million to develop and test system

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo and Idaho Representatives Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter expressed excitement today on news that Idaho will receive $1,164,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in implementing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), an identification program for livestock and poultry. The grant, announced today by USDA Secretary Ann Veneman, will be used primarily to conduct field-tests of the NAIS. "Today's announcement highlights the many efforts of Idaho cattle and dairy producers and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to develop a workable animal identification program,â?? the delegation said. â??The discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in Washington State last year demonstrated the need and usefulness of a plan to track and identify cattle, and Idaho is leading the charge. The grant announced today will boost our ability to quickly identify and prevent the spread of animal diseases. We commend the Idaho Department of Agriculture and numerous producers who are working together to better ensure a safe food supply and the livelihood of Idaho's agricultural economy by enabling the timely identification of threatening diseases." The Idaho Coalition NAIS Project, which is sponsored by the ISDA, features a broad base of participation including the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley, Utah, as well as members of the Northwest Individual Identification Pilot Program, an organization representing the cattle and dairy associations of California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The Idaho funding comes as part of $11.64 million that will be distributed to 29 state and tribal projects across the country to further USDAâ??s goal of implementing the NAIS for all U.S. livestock and poultry animals. USDA aims to gain the ability to identify all animals and premises that have had direct contact with a foreign animal disease or disease of concern within 48 hours of discovery. # # #