Harkin: GAO finds weakness in USDA’s animal ID plan
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and released today found weaknesses in USDA’s plan to implement a national animal identification system. Harkin asked GAO to examine USDA’s animal ID plan in November 2005 after concerns were raised that USDA was not effectively implementing the system and not informing producers and livestock market operators how much the system will cost their operations. Harkin is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
In response to concerns about animal disease outbreaks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in December 2003 that it would implement a nationwide program — later named the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) — to help producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal disease outbreaks in the United States.