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

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will be holding three public meetings on the animal disease traceability framework approach. The meetings will take place next month in Missouri, Maryland and Colorado. Additional meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

On Feb. 5, 2010, USDA 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, animals moving interstate back to their state of origin. 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 has scheduled three public meetings to discuss animal disease traceability with livestock industry representatives and members of the public to gather feedback on appropriate approaches under the new framework.

The public meetings will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, with registration starting one hour prior to each meeting. The meetings will be held in the following locations:

Tuesday, May 11: Kansas City, Mo.
Thursday, May 13: Riverdale, Md.
Monday, May 17: Denver, Colo.
Please note that there is a $4 parking charge at the Riverdale facility. Alternatively, this site is within walking distance of the College Park metro station.

A Federal Register notice about the meetings will be forthcoming to officially announce the meetings. Additional meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

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