Committee Reviews Implementation of Canadian and Australian National Animal Identification Systems

Sep 15, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In anticipation of the development of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in the United States, Chairman Bob Goodlatte today chaired a hearing to review the experience Canada and Australia had in implementing their private sector-based national animal ID systems.

“Among the reasons I have been an advocate of a private sector-based approach to animal ID is the success of the Canadian and Australian Systems. In a relatively short period of time, both nations have moved forward systems that are the envy of many in the international livestock community, and I think their experience in developing these systems is well worth our time and attention,” said Goodlatte.

In July, Chairman Goodlatte, Livestock and Horticulture Subcommittee Chairman Robin Hayes and other Members of the House Committee on Agriculture had written Agriculture Secretary Johanns to encourage the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement a private sector-based animal identification system. Last month, USDA announced its decision to pursue an NAIS based on a public/private partnership based on four guiding principles:

• The system must be able to allow tracking of animals from point of origin to processing within 48 hours without unnecessary burden to producers and other stakeholders.
• The system’s architecture must be developed without unduly increasing the size and role of government.
• The system must be flexible enough to utilize existing technologies and incorporate new identification technologies as they are developed.
• Animal movement data should be maintained in a private system that can be readily accessed when necessary by state and federal animal health authorities.

“When I talk to my colleagues about the challenges associated with animal identification, they all agree that we need to implement a system as soon as possible and with a minimum of adverse impact on our producers. I am encouraged by the Secretary’s responsiveness on this important topic and I look forward to working with him and our nation’s livestock producers over the coming months as we move forward with the implementation of a National Animal Identification System,” said Goodlatte.


Ms. Julie Stitt, Executive Director and National Administrator, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, Calgary, Alberta

Mr. David E. Palmer, Regional Manager-North America, Meat and Livestock Australia Limited, Washington, D.C.

Accompanied by: Dr. Andrew Cupit, Agriculture-Veterinary Counselor, Embassy of Australia, Washington, D.C.