The Minnesota legislature has passed a bill to ensure confidentiality of premises and animal data information collected as part of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), announced the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH).

The BAH, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Extension Service are working together to register all Minnesota livestock premises by the end of the year.

So far, Minnesota’s voluntary NAIS has assigned more than 7,300 national premises identification numbers. Legislation will help the program grow, says NAIS Project manager Dave Wiklund.

“This legislation will go a long way toward protecting our producer’s private information,” he says. “I expect this to boost our NAIS program in Minnesota.”

The legislation states that data collected and maintained by the BAH regarding registration and identification of premises and animals are classified as private and nonpublic. BAH may disclose data collected to a person, agency or to the public if the board determines it will aid in the law enforcement process or the protection of public health safety or animal health safety.

More information can be found on the BAH Web site at www.bah.state.mn.us, or by calling the BAH office at (651) 296-2942, ext. 17.