National ID Process Remains Muddled

National ID Process Remains Muddled

Beef Stocker Trends

Anyone hoping for answers and clarity at last week’s ID/InfoExpo — a de facto national forum for discussing and developing the national ID system — surely walked away disappointed. Though USDA Secretary Mike Johanns was on the docket and took questions from the crowd, his answers remained vague and non-committal.

For example, Johanns repeatedly dodged questions about whether USDA’s intent was to make and maintain NAIS as a voluntary or mandatory program. He stressed it’s a voluntary program today and believes a voluntary program is preferable. Yet USDA’s NAIS Implementation Plan (animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais) issued in April states in black and white that adopting mandatory regulations is a contingency plan for producer participation.

Johanns also demurs from questions aimed at assessing what level of voluntary participation is required for effective animal-health trace-back.

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