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USDA Announces Additional Animal Disease Traceability Public Meetings

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Contact:
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602
Workabeba (Abby) Yigzaw (301) 734-7255

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be holding three additional public meetings on the animal disease traceability framework approach. The meetings will take place this August in Madison, Wis., Atlanta, Ga., and Pasco, Wash. These are the final public meetings being planned to obtain feedback on the framework and development of proposed rule on traceability.

On Feb. 5, 2010, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will develop a new, flexible, yet coordinated framework for animal disease traceability in the United States. Under this new direction, states and tribal nations must establish the ability to trace, back to their state of origin, animals moving interstate. The new framework will embrace the strengths and expertise of states, tribal nations and producers, and empower them to find and use the traceability approaches that work best for them. The secretary has pledged to develop this new approach as transparently and collaboratively as possible.

USDA held an initial traceability forum in March 2010 in Kansas City with states and tribes in March to discuss how to begin creating the framework and gather feedback on possible ways of achieving traceability. Information on forum discussion topics can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/forum/index.shtml.

In May, June and July 2010, USDA hosted five public meetings to discuss Vilsack's new framework for animal disease traceability. Meetings were held May 11 in Kansas City, Mo.; May 13 in Riverdale, Md.; May 17 in Denver, Colo.; June 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah; and July 1 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Approximately 60 people attended each meeting. For more information on these meetings, please visit our website at www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/meetings/index.shtml.

USDA is now hosting its last three public meetings to discuss animal disease traceability more fully and to share the information on planned content for the proposed rule, which includes consideration of feedback collected from the forum and public meetings held to date.

The public meetings will be held in the following locations:

Wednesday, Aug. 18: Madison, Wis.
Friday, Aug. 20: Atlanta, Ga.
Tuesday, Aug. 24: Pasco, Wash.

The meetings will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time in both Atlanta, Ga., and Pasco, Wash., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time in Madison, Wis., with registration one hour prior to each meeting.

A notice informing the public of these meetings is scheduled to appear in the Aug. 9 Federal Register.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272, or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).



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