AVMA CEO releases video in response to USDA's plans for an animal ID system

AVMA CEO releases video in response to USDA's plans for an animal ID system

Mar 12, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Schaumburg, Ill. -- Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and a former head of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, cites his concerns about the new plans for a U.S. animal ID system in a video on the AVMA site.

After spending eight years and $120 million on creating the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), the USDA announced last month that it was abandoning the national program and will restart with a system that will be state- and tribal nation-based. (For details about the new plan, see the Related Link "USDA announces new plan for disease surveillance" below.)

Since the new system will not be national in scope, DeHaven thinks it could hinder veterinarians' abilities to prevent the spread of disease, including zoonotic disease. How? He says it could lessen the capabilities of tracking diseased animals since there is no guarantee that the individual state and tribal nation systems will be compatible with one another.

DeHaven is also concerned that no ID system will be in place while this new system is in development—a process that could take years. In addition, DeHaven objects to the fact that the USDA has announced that cattle branding will be an acceptable form of ID. In the video, DeHaven states, "It's hard for me to imagine how this ancient technology will fit into a modern, interstate system to trace animals."

To view the video, visit www.avmatv.org.