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


WASHINGTON, July 17, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a partnership with the U.S. Animal Identification Organization (USAIO) to register more than 100,000 new premises as a result of livestock producers learning more about the animal health and economic benefits of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
“This agreement recognizes the relationship among USAIO partners in the livestock industry to build upon the growing support for the NAIS program,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs.  “NAIS provides a system that will shorten response times in the event of an animal disease outbreak, to further strengthen our reputation as the safest animal health system in the world,” said Knight.

The USAIO is a nonprofit organization of livestock producer groups that works with the animal agriculture industry to provide leadership for the advancement of NAIS. 
Under the agreement announced today, USAIO will focus a comprehensive outreach program about the important advantages of participation in NAIS to accomplish a significant increase in premises registrations nationwide.

Earlier this year, USDA announced the availability of $6 million for cooperative agreements, subject to availability, to support nonprofit agricultural organizations to promote NAIS and to increase participation in premises registration.

NAIS consists of three components:  premises registration, animal identification and tracing.  The premises registration component of NAIS ensures the availability of a nationwide communications network to assist livestock owners and animal health officials in the event of an animal disease event.  More than 404,600 premises nationwide have been registered to date.


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