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Wayne Maloney    (301) 734-7255
Jerry Redding       (202) 720-4623

USDA RELEASES REPORT ON NATIONAL ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM PILOT PROJECTS

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2007–The U.S. Department of Agriculture today published a final report on a variety of pilot projects conducted throughout 2004 to test technologies and procedures recommended for use with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). 

Many of the projects tested the system in real-world scenarios, integrating animal identification and movement reporting into everyday commerce.  The results provide valuable information about the day-to-day use of animal identification and tracing technology. 

“The pilot projects demonstrate that NAIS will work well and greatly benefit America’s producers.  These concrete examples of the system’s capabilities, tried and proven in the field, are a critical step forward in our efforts to implement this important program,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary of USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs mission area. 

Key lessons learned from the projects include:

USDA provided approximately $6.6 million in Commodity Credit Corporation funds for the projects in 2004.  These initial 16 projects represent the first stage of the NAIS pilot project program.  The program supports the states and tribes in carrying out research and field trials that resolve questions and concerns about NAIS processes, technologies and costs. 

Several additional field trial projects, funded with fiscal year 2005 monies, are now underway to provide more statistical comparisons of technologies and more clearly define implementation costs for NAIS.  
   
More information on the findings from the 2004 pilot projects, as well as a description of current efforts, is available in the Pilot Project Report.  The report can be accessed on USDA’s NAIS Web site at www.usda.gov/nais by clicking on the “NAIS Library” function in the top toolbar.  Scroll down to “NAIS Plans and Reports” and click on the link.

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