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News: January 25, 2005

Web Site Efforts Spike Numbers; Ease First Step to Tracking Diseased Animals within 48 Hours

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2005 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced the launch of a new Web site to inform stakeholders about the national animal identification system (Animal Disease Traceability). The Web site, available at, is designed to be a one-stop resource to facts about Animal Disease Traceability.

"We hope our stakeholders will visit the site frequently to find out the latest news about the Animal Disease Traceability from a national perspective," said APHIS Administrator W. Ron DeHaven. "It will be updated regularly as new information becomes available."

In addition to providing national news, the site provides contact information for state and tribal animal health authorities. The states and tribes are responsible for providing each premises under their purview with a nationally unique identification number—the starting point of the Animal Disease Traceability. All states should be able to assign nationally unique premises identification numbers to locations where animals are managed or held by mid-2005.

Over time, APHIS plans to add to the new Web site resources targeted to specific species and industry-segment groups. Currently, Animal Disease Traceability working groups comprised of industry and government representatives have been established for cattle and bison, sheep, swine, poultry, horses, llamas and alpacas, deer and elk, and livestock markets and processors.

In implementing the Animal Disease Traceability, USDA's goal is to provide animal health officials the ability to identify all animals and premises that have had contact with a foreign or domestic animal disease of concern within 48 hours after discovery. As an information system that provides for rapid tracing of infected and exposed animals during an outbreak situation, the Animal Disease Traceability will help limit the scope of such outbreaks and ensure that they are contained and eradicated as quickly as possible.

With the recent passage of the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, APHIS will receive approximately $33 million for Animal Disease Traceability implementation. USDA also transferred $18.8 million from its Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS during fiscal year 2004 to support the Animal Disease Traceability.

Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS home page at and click on the "News" button.
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