Forum On Animal Disease Traceability Scheduled For August

Date set for forum to discuss animal disease traceability.

The U.S. Animal Health Association and the National Institutes for Animal Agriculture will host a Joint Strategy Forum on Animal Disease Traceability on Aug. 30-31 in Denver.

The forum follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision this year to redirect its efforts on animal identification to developing a framework for animal disease traceability.

Under the new framework, the USDA will determine the rules for the interstate movement of animals, while states and tribal nations will be responsible for the traceability within their boundaries.

The forum will bring together state and tribal animal health officials, animal producers, livestock marketers and handlers, and meat processors. They will provide input on the preliminary standards being developed by the USDA’s Traceability Regulatory Working Group.

The standards are scheduled to be released in mid-August.

Organizers hope the forum leads to a white paper that will document the issues and potential solutions surrounding animal disease traceability.

“This forum will allow for the open flow of ideas and concerns,” said Richard Breitmeyer, DVM, state veterinarian for California and president of the U.S. Animal Health Association. “Unless we have a discussion including all parties, the development of a viable animal disease traceability framework will be much more difficult.”

The USDA intends to publish the new rules by this winter, said Michael Coe, DVM, co-chairman of the forum planning committee.

“Given that timeline, industry and the states and tribes need to make their positions known to decision makers,” he said.

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