The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) and the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA) have prepared a white paper based on the Joint Strategy Forum on Animal Disease Traceability held August 30-31, 2010, in Denver, Colorado. Responding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) “new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability,” the forum reportedly included attendees from 43 states, four tribes, 33 state health agencies, 38 industry organizations, eight universities, and 34 food producers and companies. It focused on the Traceability Regulation Working Group’s preliminary directions “in the areas of official identification, exemptions, performance standards, compliance components, recordkeeping requirements, and proposed timelines.”
According to a September 10, 2010, press release, the paper specifically covers forum discussions related to (i) “the inclusion of identifying feeder cattle after a workable system is in place for adult cattle”; (ii) “the use and relevance of ‘Brite’ tags, back tags and brands”; (iii) “reasonable timelines and benchmarks for states to implement a traceability system”; (iv) “how to accommodate the needs of different species”; (v) “uniform data collection among states”; (vi) “the use of official ‘840’ eartags for U.S. born animals”; and (vii) “education and outreach to animal producers, handlers, marketers and processors in regard to new requirements.” NIAA and USAHA expect USDA to publish a proposed rule on animal disease traceability in April 2011 with a 60- to 90-day public comment period.