Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Benchmarking the National Animal Identification System

RFID Law Journal
Newsletter No. 40
January 31, 2007

The USDA is openly benchmarking its success in registering premises under the NAIS. Readers can note the progress of this program at this link to the USDA website: According to the statistical data set forth on the USDA website, 24.6% (i.e., 353,504) of the nation’s estimated 1.4 million livestock farms were registered in the National Animal Identification System as of January 29, 2007. The USDA defines a livestock farm as premises with more than $1,000 in annual income, and the total number of livestock farms is based upon an estimate of the National Agricultural Statistical Survey. The data counts premises with more than one species only one time. Wisconsin and Idaho represent the leadership in premises registration, with substantially all premises registered, and as of January, 2007, a majority of the livestock farms located in Indiana, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah have registered themselves in the NAIS.

Some of the basic guidelines for registration can be found at the USDA’s website: The registration is free, and at present, it does not require participation in the other two components of NAIS – animal identification and animal tracking.

Since our last publication on the NAIS, the USDA updated its website. You can locate baseline information on animal tracing at this USDA link: Our readers can also find out more about animal identification at this USDA link: The USDA has formed working groups for different species and identified working group leaders, enabling information sharing, etc. Readers are invited to learn more about these working groups at this USDA link:

In late January, 2007, the USDA also announced its endorsement of industry- recommended international standards for animal identification technologies. The USDA endorse the use of ISO 11784 and 11785, which would establish RFID technology standards for producers and service providers electing to use Radio Frequency Identification technology in NAIS. This will facilitate use of one reader to scan all Animal Identification Number (AIN) tags. However, the USDA is not requiring the use of RFID tags or implants. That decision is left to owners. It is also clear the USDA will continue reviewing other technology options over the horizon.
The USDA’s press release can be located through the following link:

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