In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scrapping the National Animal Identification System, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is devoting part of its annual meeting March 15-17 in Kansas City, MO, to helping develop a new identification system.

Under the new USDA plan, states and tribal nations will set their own programs and standards. Those groups will confer at a two-day forum in Kansas City March 18-19 to discuss ways to achieve the flexible, coordinated approach to animal disease traceability USDA envisions.

At the NIAA conference, the NIAA Animal Identification and Information Systems Committee is convening a panel of animal agriculture representatives to discuss what this new approach will mean to their sector of the industry and to offer input to state and tribal decisions.

The committee meets from 1-5 p.m. March 17.

“NIAA has been very involved in convening such panels and conferences over the past two decades in order to assist in developing consensus across animal agriculture on animal identification issues,” states Leonard Bull, chairman of the NIAA board of directors. “This is yet another opportunity for NIAA to provide the needed forum for animal agriculture to proactively work toward a positive solution to a very difficult and contentious issue.”

NIAA’s annual meeting will take place at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City (816-474-4400). For schedule and registration information, go to www.animalagriculture.org. or call NIAA at (719) 538-8843.