November 24, 2004
Note to Journalists: A national animal identification system is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's strategy for protecting consumers and the livestock industry. The following are story ideas tied to the efforts to develop this system.
Purdue testing animal identification model for dairy industry
Purdue University may soon implement the state's first version of an animal identification system compliant with international standards.
Robert Albrecht, executive director of the Indiana State Dairy Association (ISDA), and Mike Schutz, associate professor of animal sciences, demonstrated the system Tuesday (Nov. 23) before the ISDA and officials from the Indiana Board of Animal Health (IBOAH).
The system, designed for the dairy industry, will utilize electronic readers to scan animals' radio-frequency ear tags. The readers can then be electronically hooked up with PC-DART, a farm records management system. Reports could be generated to electronically relay animal and premises identification to IBOAH for monitoring purposes. Schutz said the electronic identification also can be beneficial in day-to-day management of cows and calves. The system will first be put into use in Indiana at the Purdue Dairy Research and Education farm.
Purdue experts: National animal ID system still in development
After the first report of mad cow disease in the United States, the USDA promised a nationwide animal tracking system. Ken Foster, a professor of agricultural economics, and Ron Lemenager, a professor of animal sciences, have kept tabs on the situation.
"This year the USDA's goal was to identify all the premises that handle livestock," Foster said. "Next year, the big push is to identify all the animals, and in 2006 they want to take stock and move closer to having a global system." When it's complete, Foster said, the total projected cost will be $500 million, some of which ultimately will be paid for by consumers.
Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722, (765) 497-7102 (home), firstname.lastname@example.org
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