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USDA announces new plan for disease surveillance

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Feb 05, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Washington -- A new system for tracing animal disease is being developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to replace the failed national animal identification system USDA has pursued for several years.

The goal of the undertaking is to strengthen the agency’s disease response and prevention capabilities, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“It is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed,” Vilsack says in his Feb. 5 announcement. “I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability.”

The basic outline of the framework includes the following:

• the plan would only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
• it would only be administered by states and tribal nations in order to allow more flexibility;
• the program would encourage the use of lower-cost technology;
• and it would be implemented through federal regulations and the full rule-making process.

One of the first steps in the formulation of the new system will be to convene a forum of animal-health leaders from states and tribal nations. An open dialogue with these groups will bring about a list of possible ways to achieve the program USDA envisions.

For more information about the new program, click here.