Washington-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH) is collaborating with six states on development of an electronic Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) project.
Coordinated by the CEAH's Veterinary Services (VS), the project would enable state and federal animal health officials to have real-time access to data on livestock transport state-to-state via electronic health certificates recorded by state, federal and private practitioners. The program would allow instant traceback and other useful information pertinent to disease control and surveillance.
Horses are included as part of the program, because their movement also falls under USDA jurisdiction, according to Steve Weber, DVM, MS, of VS.
Two resolutions of the U.S. Animal Health Association support the creation of an electronic health certificate system. Florida, the original beta-testing state in 1999, is now joined by California, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
"The main focus in this phase is to take the current paper version to an online process," says Tim O'Neill, VS program analyst.
The new electronic certificates may allow state veterinarians to receive documentation quicker and more efficiently. O'Neill says the ultimate goal is to have electronic ICVIs in all 50 states in the next several years. Program planners also envision integration of a number of animal health databases that rely on the unique animal and premise identification numbers from the National Animal Identification Plan.
Currently states are in various levels of training private practitioners to use the electronic health certificates.
Practitioners in any of the participating six states who would like more information on the project should contact O'Neill at (970) 494-7290.