Last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scrapping the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) doesn’t alter the National Pork Board’s objective for pork producers to have timely disease surveillance and protection for the U.S. swine herd.

“Premises identification is the cornerstone of animal health and disease surveillance,” says Paul Sundberg, DVM, vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board. “This new direction does not change that fact and the pork industry remains committed to these critical efforts. The pork industry is committed to working collaboratively with USDA and state animal health officials to provide a sound system. Pork producers have demonstrated their confidence in premises identification through their participation and it is important that we maintain this voluntary cooperation.”

USDA records indicate the U.S. swine industry already has more than 90% of its farms identified through premises identification.

Participation in NAIS was a requirement of the industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus program. The USDA announcement doesn’t change the Pork Checkoff’s reliance on a voluntary premises identification program as an integral part of the industry’s swine health practices. The Pork Checkoff’s Swine Health Committee will work closely with USDA and state animal health officials to build progress toward improved swine disease surveillance.

To read more about the USDA release on NAIS and a Q&A on NAIS, go to www.usda.gov.

To learn more about the Pork Checkoff, go to www.pork.org.