[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 8 (Tuesday, January 13, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 1634-1643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-353]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 8 / Tuesday, January 13, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 1634]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 71, 77, 78, 79, and 80

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096]
RIN 0579-AC72


Official Animal Identification Numbering Systems

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the domestic livestock regulations 
to require that when animal identification numbers (AINs) are used, 
only those numbers beginning with the 840 prefix will be recognized as 
official for use on all AIN tags applied to animals 1 year or more 
after the date on which this proposed rule is finalized. In addition, 
we are proposing to require that all new premises identification 
numbers (PINs) that are issued on or after the effective date of this 
rule use the seven-character alphanumeric code format. Official eartags 
that use a premises based numbering system issued after a 1-year phase-
in period will be required to use the seven-character alphanumeric code 
format as well. Further, we are proposing several changes pertaining to 
the use of the U.S. shield on official eartags, numbering systems that 
use such eartags, and the correlation of those numbering systems with 
the PIN. These proposed changes are intended to achieve greater 
standardization and uniformity of official numbering systems and 
eartags used in animal disease programs and to enhance animal 
traceability, as discussed in previous Federal Register documents 
pertaining to the National Animal Identification System.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 
16, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0096 to submit or view comments and 
to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to 
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this 
docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of 
the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to 
help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Wiemers, Senior Staff 
Officer, National Animal Identification Staff, VS, APHIS, 2100 S. Lake 
Storey Rd., Galesburg, IL 61401; (309) 344-1942.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard animal health, the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a series of initiatives 
to provide national standards for animal disease traceability. These 
include the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a cooperative 
State/Federal/industry program administered by the USDA's Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
    In an interim rule effective and published in the Federal Register 
on November 8, 2004 (69 FR 64644-64651, Docket No. 04-052-1), we 
amended the regulations to recognize additional numbering systems for 
the identification of animals in interstate commerce and State/Federal/
industry cooperative disease control and eradication programs. 
Additionally, the interim rule amended the regulations to authorize the 
use of a numbering system to identify premises where animals are 
managed or held. Specifically, the interim rule recognized the animal 
identification number (AIN) for the identification of individual 
animals, the group/lot identification number (GIN) for the 
identification of groups or lots of animals, and the premises 
identification number (PIN) for the identification of premises. These 
numbering systems are important national standards for improved animal 
disease traceability and are key elements in the NAIS.
    On July 18, 2007, APHIS adopted that interim rule as a final rule 
(72 FR 39301-39307, Docket No. 04-052-2) \1\ with several changes. 
Neither the interim rule nor the final rule required the use of the 
AIN, the GIN, or the PIN.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the interim rule, the comments we received, and the 
subsequent final rule, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/
component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2004-0018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Standardization of the AIN

    The regulations established by the November 2004 interim rule and 
the July 2007 final rule describe the AIN as a number containing 15 
digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 for the United 
States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric code assigned to the 
manufacturer of the identification device by the International 
Committee on Animal Recording. APHIS decided to recognize as official 
AINs beginning with the letters USA or a manufacturer's code in order 
to avoid placing an excessive burden on producers who were already 
using either of those two numbering systems for identifying their 
animals. Only recognizing AINs with the country code 840 would have 
required producers to retag their animals.
    Moving to one uniform, standardized, technology-neutral numbering 
system for the identification of livestock, however, is essential to 
achieving more efficient and effective animal disease traceability. 
Therefore, in the Supplementary Information section of our July 2007 
final rule, we noted that we viewed the USA and manufacturer's code 
numbering systems as transitional. We anticipated phasing them out as 
we focused our efforts on moving toward a single system whereby APHIS 
would recognize as official only the AIN with the 840 prefix to the 
extent practical. We further indicated that we would

[[Page 1635]]

provide additional information about the transition process in future 
rulemaking.
    We are now proposing to amend the regulations to recognize as 
official only AINs beginning with 840 for use on all AIN tags applied 
to animals 1 year or more after the date of the finalization of this 
proposed rule. AINs with USA and manufacturer's code prefixes imprinted 
on eartags would not be recognized as official identification numbers 
for animals born on or after the date upon which the proposed 
requirement becomes effective. We would amend the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN) and official eartag in 9 CFR 71.1, 77.2, 
78.1, 79.1, and 80.1 accordingly. We believe that requiring the 840 AIN 
format for AIN tags applied to animals 1 year or more after this 
proposed rule is finalized would provide enough advance notice to 
inform and educate producers, allow them to work through existing 
inventories of eartags, and make the transition achievable on a large 
scale. Since this proposed requirement would apply only to animals 
tagged 1 year or more after the finalization of this proposed rule, it 
would not be necessary to retag animals that had been officially 
identified prior to that date.
    The entire transition period, i.e., the time it would take for all 
animals with AIN eartags to have AINs with the 840 prefix, would likely 
last for many years. Breeding beef cattle, for instance, typically live 
10 years or more. Young calves selected for breeding and identified in 
the fall of 2008 could conceivably still be wearing eartags with USA or 
manufacturer's code AINs in 2018 and beyond. It is not our intent at 
this time to set a date by which AIN eartags in adult animals must 
conform to the 840 standard.
    As was the case with the November 2004 interim rule and the July 
2007 final rule, this proposed rule would not require the use of the 
AIN. Other animal identification numbering systems currently recognized 
in the regulations for use on official eartags, such as the National 
Uniform Eartagging System and premises-based numbering systems that 
combine a PIN with a producer's livestock production numbering system, 
would continue to be so recognized. If the AIN is used, however, on an 
official eartag or other device (currently, it is only used on eartags 
and implants), only the format with the 840 prefix would be acceptable 
for use on animals tagged 1 year or more after the date on which this 
proposed rule is finalized.

Standardization of the PIN

    While premises-based numbering systems that employ the PIN may be 
used for the identification of individual animals, the fundamental 
purpose of a PIN is to identify locations in the United States where 
livestock and/or poultry are housed or kept. Premises identification 
has value in and of itself, even if the animals on a given premises are 
not identified individually. When animal health officials know where 
at-risk animals and locations are and have accurate, up-to-date contact 
information for their owners, they can respond quickly and 
strategically to prevent disease spread.
    The existing regulations recognize two types of PINs. The first 
consists of the two-letter postal abbreviation of the State in which 
the premises is located, followed by a number assigned to the premises 
by a State animal health official. The second is a seven-character 
alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a check digit. 
The check digit number is based upon the ISO 7064 Mod 36/37 check digit 
algorithm. The latter format is the newer one of the two, having been 
recognized as official in the November 2004 interim rule. As of 
September 2008, more than 480,000 PINs using the 7-character 
alphanumeric format had been issued.
    Because the use of a single numbering system to represent premises 
in all animal-health data systems would help to standardize information 
and to enhance existing disease-tracing and emergency-response 
capabilities, we are proposing to remove the PIN format that uses the 
State postal abbreviation and are proposing to create a single national 
format for the PIN by requiring that all PINs issued on or after the 
date on which this proposed rule becomes effective would have to use 
the seven-character alphanumeric code format. We would amend the 
definitions of premises identification number (PIN) in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 
77.2, 79.1, and 80.1 accordingly.
    When the change becomes effective, the postal-code PIN format would 
no longer be recognized as official for the identification of locations 
where livestock or poultry are housed or kept. Locations that are 
currently identified with a postal-code PIN will need to obtain a 
seven-character PIN for use when the assignment of a numbered location 
identifier is required by APHIS.
    Identification eartags, as well as other devices or means of 
official identification, such as backtags and tattoos, that employ a 
premises-based numbering system that includes a PIN could not be 
applied to animals 1 year or later after the date on which this 
proposed rule is finalized if the PIN does not employ the seven-
character format. As is the case with our proposed requirement for 
standardizing the AIN, we believe that the 1-year phase-in period for 
requiring the seven-character PIN on eartags and other devices using 
premises-based numbering systems would provide enough advance notice to 
inform and educate producers, allow them to work through inventories of 
eartags that employ postal-code PINs as a means of identifying animals, 
and make this transition achievable on a large scale. Animals that are 
currently identified with a premises-based numbering system that uses a 
postal-code PIN would not have to be retagged, however, as the proposed 
requirement is intended to be applied going forward. If the owner of 
the premises has obtained a new seven-character PIN, older eartags 
employing the postal-code PIN as a means of identifying animals would 
be cross-referenced with the seven-character PIN in the premises 
registration system maintained by the State that issued the postal-code 
PIN.

Official Eartags

    To help us achieve our goals of increased standardization and 
enhanced animal traceability and to codify some identification methods 
that are currently in use, we are proposing a number of changes to the 
requirements for official eartags. These proposed changes pertain to 
the use of the U.S. shield on official eartags, numbering systems that 
may be used on such eartags, and the correlation of those numbering 
systems with the PIN.
    Previously, the regulations required that all official eartags had 
to bear the U.S. shield. The shield is useful for traceback purposes 
because it provides a readily visible means of recognizing official 
animal identification devices. In the July 2007 final rule, however, we 
amended the definition of official eartag to require that only official 
eartags displaying an 840 AIN bear the U.S. shield. We narrowed the 
shield requirement at that time in order to allow producers using AINs 
beginning with USA or manufacturers' code prefixes to continue to use 
their existing tags rather than having to retag their animals.
    In keeping with our intentions to phase out the use of those types 
of AINs and to achieve greater standardization in numbering systems and 
means and methods of animal identification, we are now proposing to 
revert to the earlier requirement that all official eartags bear the 
U.S. shield. The requirement would apply to official eartags issued 1 
year or more after the date of the finalization of

[[Page 1636]]

this proposed rule. This proposed change would be complemented by 
another, also aimed at achieving greater standardization: We would 
amend the definition of official identification device or method in 
Sec. Sec.  71.1, 78.1, and 79.1 to state that, going forward, the U.S. 
shield would be reserved only for use on official identification 
devices approved by APHIS, i.e., that it could not be used on any 
unofficial identification devices. As is the case with our proposed 840 
AIN requirement, the 1-year phase-in period is intended to allow 
producers adequate time to work through existing inventories of 
eartags.
    Our proposed definition of official eartag would also require such 
eartags, including those that use the National Uniform Eartagging 
System, if issued or distributed in conjunction with a Federal disease 
program, to be correlated with the PINs of the premises to which they 
are issued, by means of the Animal Identification Number Management 
System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping systems approved by the 
Administrator. (Both the National Uniform Eartagging System and the 
AINMS are discussed in greater detail later in this document.) For this 
proposed requirement to be met, official eartags used in animal disease 
programs could only be issued, going forward, to registered premises 
that have PINs. In sections of the regulations that apply to sheep and 
goats, e.g., in Sec.  79.1, the proposed definition would also indicate 
that official eartags for those species would have to be approved by 
APHIS for use in accordance with the scrapie regulations. Official 
eartags used on sheep and goats in the National Scrapie Eradication 
Program (NSEP) would have to be correlated with the PINs of the owner's 
premises and, where applicable, a flock identification number (FIN) in 
the National Scrapie Database. Correlating eartags with PINs would aid 
in tracing animals back to their farms of origin in the event of 
disease outbreaks.
    Our proposed definition of official eartag would also require that 
when AIN eartags are used, the AINs would have to be correlated with 
the PINs of the premises to which they are issued, meaning that AIN 
eartags could only be issued to registered premises that have PINs. 
AINs would be correlated with PINs using the AINMS, which we would 
define in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 77.2, 79.1, and 80.1 as a Web-based system 
maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, the 
allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The definition would further state that the system could also be 
used to track the disposition of other official identification devices. 
(Further information regarding the AINMS can be found at http://
animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/animal_id/ain_mngt_sys.shtml.) AINs 
used on official eartags attached to sheep and goats in the NSEP would 
also have to be correlated with PINs and, where applicable, FINs in the 
National Scrapie Database.
    Additionally, in Sec.  79.1, the proposed definition of official 
eartag would codify two identification numbering systems that are 
currently being used in the NSEP but that are not defined in the 
existing regulations. The change would recognize the current practice 
of employing the FIN, which is discussed in greater detail below, on 
official eartags for sheep and goats if used in conjunction with a 
producer's livestock production numbering system to provide a unique 
identification number. The proposed definition of official eartag in 
Sec.  79.1 would also recognize a unique eight-character number, 
already in use in the NSEP, composed of the State postal abbreviation 
followed by two letters and four numbers for use on official eartags 
for sheep and goats. With either of these numbering systems, the 
letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' could only be used in the State postal 
abbreviation due to the possibility that they could be confused with 
the numbers ``0'' or ``1.''
    Finally, while the existing definition of official eartag allows 
for the use of the National Uniform Eartagging System on such tags, it 
does not specify the format to be used. Because either an eight- or 
nine-character format may be employed, as discussed below, the 
definitions of official eartag that would appear in the different parts 
covered by this proposed rule vary slightly, with each specifying the 
National Uniform Eartagging System format to be used, where use of the 
system is applicable, for the particular species and the particular 
animal disease program that are the subject of the part.

Flock Identification Number

    At this time, the NSEP furnishes eartags to sheep and goat 
producers that bear a numbering system that is somewhat similar to the 
premises-based numbering system (a PIN combined with the producer's 
livestock production numbering system) discussed above. In lieu of a 
PIN, however, these eartags are imprinted with a unique FIN. This 
number, unlike the PIN, represents an animal group that is associated 
with one or more locations rather than a designator for a location. The 
FIN serves the sheep and goat industries well in their disease control 
and eradication efforts. The existing regulations, however, while 
allowing for the use of the FIN on eartags for sheep and goats in the 
NSEP, do not define the term as they do other types of identification 
numbers, such as the AIN and the PIN. Therefore, to codify current 
practices and help ensure uniformity and consistency in the use of 
flock identification numbering, we are proposing to add a definition of 
flock identification number (FIN) to the general requirements for 
interstate movement in 9 CFR part 71, to the scrapie-related 
requirements in part 79, and to the Johne's disease requirements in 
part 80. Specifically, in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 79.1, and 80.1, we would 
define flock identification number (FIN) as a nationally unique number 
assigned by a State or Federal animal health authority to a group of 
animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and are 
under the same ownership. The definition would state that the FIN must 
begin with the State postal abbreviation, must have no more than nine 
alphanumeric characters, and must not contain the characters 
``I'',''O'', or ``Q'' other than as part of the State postal 
abbreviation. As noted earlier, the restriction on the use of those 
letters is intended to prevent errors that could result from confusing 
them with the numbers ``0'' and ``1.'' The proposed definition would 
further note that FINs would be linked in the National Scrapie Database 
to one or more PINs and could be used in conjunction with an animal 
number unique within the flock to provide a distinctive official 
identification number for an animal, or could be used in conjunction 
with the date and a sequence number to provide a GIN for a group of 
animals when group identification is allowed. As noted above, we would 
also amend the definition of official eartag in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 79.1, 
and 80.1 so that it would include the FIN on the list of numbering 
systems that may be used on official eartags, thereby codifying the 
existing practice.

National Uniform Eartagging System

    The definition of official eartag in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 77.2, 78.1, 
79.1, and 80.1 currently recognizes the National Uniform Eartagging 
System as a means of identifying individual animals in commerce. The 
system has been in use for many years, but the existing regulations do 
not define the term or specify a particular format. To codify existing 
practices, thereby helping to ensure greater standardization and 
uniformity in the use of this numbering system, we are proposing to add 
a

[[Page 1637]]

definition of National Uniform Eartagging System to the sections cited 
above, with the exception of Sec.  79.1, since that numbering system is 
not used in the NSEP. (The definition of official eartag in Sec.  79.1 
would be amended to remove the option of using the National Uniform 
Eartagging System in the NSEP.) We would define National Uniform 
Eartagging System as a numbering system for the official identification 
of individual animals in the United States providing a nationally 
unique identification number for each animal. An eight- or nine-
character alphanumeric format, consisting of a two-number State or 
territory code, followed by two or three letters and four additional 
numbers, would be required. (The eight-character format is generally 
reserved for use in small livestock, such as sheep and goats, though 
not, as noted above, in the NSEP.) The proposed definition would also 
note that individual APHIS disease control programs may specify which 
National Uniform Eartagging System format to use.

Removal of Official Identification Devices

    Current Sec.  71.22, which was added to the regulations in the 
November 2004 interim rule, states that official identification devices 
are intended to provide permanent identification of livestock and to 
ensure the ability to find the source of animal disease outbreaks and 
prohibits the intentional removal of such devices except at the time of 
slaughter.
    We are proposing to allow for removal of official identification 
devices not only at slaughter but also at other points of termination, 
such as rendering facilities or diagnostic laboratories. We would also 
allow for removal of official identification devices in compliance with 
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations regarding the 
collection of all manmade animal identification and the correlation of 
such with carcasses through final inspection and for removal as 
otherwise authorized by the Administrator. These proposed changes would 
simply codify existing practices and would not negatively affect animal 
traceability.

Miscellaneous

    Current Sec.  71.19(b)(7) states that slaughter swine and feeder 
swine may be identified by means of an eartag or tattoo bearing a PIN. 
We are proposing to amend that paragraph to distinguish between the 
identification required for each type of swine. Tattoos are a less 
effective means of identifying adult slaughter swine than are eartags 
because the vast majority of such animals are skinned as part of the 
preparation of the animal carcass for meat processing. We are therefore 
proposing to amend Sec.  71.19(b)(7) to require that, after a 1-year 
phase-in period, when the PIN is used to identify adult slaughter 
swine, the swine would have to be identified by an APHIS-approved 
eartag bearing the U.S. shield. The identification requirements for 
feeder swine would not change, however, since tattooing has proved to 
be a very reliable method of identification for those animals.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the 
potential effects of the proposed changes on small entities. We do not 
currently have all the data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of 
the effects of this proposed rule on small entities. Therefore, we are 
inviting comments concerning potential effects. In particular, we are 
interested in determining the potential costs to eartag manufacturers 
and livestock producers.
    This proposed rule would amend the regulations to achieve greater 
standardization and uniformity of official numbering systems and 
eartags and to codify certain existing identification methods. We 
propose to remove the option of using AINs that begin with the alpha 
characters USA or a manufacturer's code and only recognize as official 
those that begin with an 840 prefix. This change would apply to AINs 
imprinted on AIN tags applied to animals 1 year or more after the date 
on which this proposed rule is finalized. In addition, we are proposing 
to require that all new PINs issued on or after the effective date of 
this rule use the seven-character alphanumeric code format. Official 
eartags using a premises-based numbering system employing a PIN that 
are issued after a 1-year phase-in period will be required to use the 
seven-character alphanumeric code format as well. We are also proposing 
to require that, after a 1-year phase-in period, all official eartags 
applied to animals must bear the U.S. shield, and we would specify that 
the shield could only be used on official identification devices 
approved by APHIS. We would also add to the regulations definitions of 
flock identification number (FIN), National Uniform Eartagging System, 
and the AINMS. We do not expect that the addition of the AINMS to the 
regulations will cause any significant economic burden to any entities 
that may be affected by this rulemaking. The AINMS has been used 
successfully, and without causing difficulty for users, to record the 
distribution of over 10 million official tags by industry cooperators.
    By requiring the use of only the 840 prefix in the AIN for AIN tags 
applied to animals 1 year or more after the date on which this proposed 
rule is finalized, we anticipate there would be enough advance notice 
to allow the transition to take place without placing a significant 
economic burden on livestock producers or on manufacturers of eartags 
using the AIN. Since it is not the intent of this proposed rule to set 
a date by which AIN eartags for all adult animals must conform to the 
840 format, there should be few, if any, animals that would need to be 
retagged. As noted earlier, it is expected to be many years before all 
animals have an AIN with the 840 prefix. For instance, breeding beef 
cattle typically live for 10 years or more before they are slaughtered.
    Requiring the use of the 840 prefix for the AIN is not expected to 
have significant economic effects on the livestock industry. Potential 
costs would include reformatting expenses for eartag manufacturers as 
the USA and manufacturer's code numbering systems are eliminated. 
Additionally, there may be obsolete inventory costs in the form of 
stocked eartags that were imprinted with one of the eliminated 
numbering systems. These potential costs may be passed on to livestock 
producers that purchase the new eartags. We do not have data to 
quantitatively estimate these potential costs at this time, and welcome 
public comment from affected entities with this information. However, 
we would not expect these potential costs to be large, because most 
adult animals would not need to be retagged, unless a tag is lost and 
needs to be replaced, and because the use of the AIN would not be 
required and other animal identification numbering systems currently 
recognized in the regulations for use on official eartags, such as the 
National Uniform Eartagging System and one of the premises-based 
numbering systems, would continue to be recognized as official. 
Moreover, transitioning to the use of standardized AINs would enhance 
APHIS' animal disease response capabilities, which would benefit 
livestock industries.
    The current regulations recognize two forms of PINs for the 
official

[[Page 1638]]

identification of premises where livestock or poultry are housed. One 
consists of a postal code prefix of the State in which the premises is 
located, followed by a number assigned to the premises by a State 
animal health official. A second, more recent format utilizes a seven-
character alphanumeric code that was developed through discussions with 
industry and producer representatives. At this time, more than 480,000 
PINs using the 7-character alphanumeric format have been issued, while 
the older format is being phased out. The use of a single numbering 
system to identify premises is essential in enhancing and contributing 
to the effectiveness of USDA's disease-tracing and emergency response 
capabilities. Therefore, we are proposing to require that all PINs 
issued on or after the effective date of this rule use the newer seven-
character alphanumeric format. This action is not expected to have a 
significant economic effect on producers of livestock or poultry, as it 
is just a change in program operations, and would require minimal 
expenditures on the part of producers. For example, some producers who 
are transitioning from postal-code to seven-character PINs may have to 
buy additional tattoo digits, depending upon what tattoo digits they 
already have, but that expense, if any, would be very small. 
Additionally, as with the standardization of the AINs, there may be 
minimal costs associated with the transition away from the postal-code 
eartags for those producers who use a premises-based numbering system 
to identify their animals.
    We would also require that, after a 1-year phase-in period, all 
official eartags would have to bear the U.S. shield. It is possible 
that there could be some reformatting costs for tag manufacturers as a 
result of this requirement, though it is important to note that eartags 
imprinted with the 840 prefix already bear the U.S. shield. We do not 
have data to quantitatively estimate these potential costs at this 
time. We do not anticipate costs to producers resulting from this 
proposed requirement, but we welcome comments and information from the 
public on this issue.
    Currently, the NSEP furnishes eartags to sheep and goat producers 
that use a numbering system that is similar to the premises-based 
numbering system (a PIN combined with the producer's livestock 
production numbering system). However, in place of the PIN, NSEP 
imprints these eartags with a unique FIN. We are proposing to add a 
definition of flock identification number (FIN) to the regulations and 
amend the definition of official eartag to include the FIN on the list 
of numbering systems that may be used on official eartags. Because 
these proposed changes simply incorporate current practices into the 
regulations, we do not expect them to have an economic effect on the 
sheep and goat industries.
    The definition of official eartag currently allows for the use of 
the National Uniform Eartagging System as a means of identifying 
individual animals in commerce. However, existing regulations do not 
define the term or specify the format. To provide for greater 
standardization and uniformity, we are proposing to add a definition of 
National Uniform Eartagging System, as discussed above. Because this 
proposed change, like the addition of the FIN definition, simply 
incorporates current practices into the regulations, we do not expect 
that there will be any economic impact on entities potentially affected 
by this proposed rule.
    We expect that all the proposed changes discussed above would 
benefit affected entities by allowing for greater flexibility in some 
instances while enhancing traceability in the event of a disease 
outbreak.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies specifically 
consider the economic impact of their rules on small entities. Entities 
that could be economically affected by this proposed rule include 
eartag manufacturers, slaughtering or animal processing establishments, 
and livestock producers.
    The proposed rule may have an effect on manufacturers of animal 
eartags. The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA's) small-entity 
size standard for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 
code 326199, which comprises plastic product manufacturers not 
otherwise identified by NAICS code, is 500 or fewer employees.\2\ 
According to the 2002 Economic Census, there were 7,892 establishments 
in this category engaged in the manufacturing of plastic products, with 
over 492,000 paid employees.\3\ Of these 7,892 establishments, we know 
neither the number of operations engaged in the manufacture of plastic 
eartags, nor the size of these operations as it pertains to SBA size 
standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Table of Size Standards based on NAICS 2002. Washington, DC: 
U.S. Small Business Administration, effective October 1, 2007. Note: 
NAICS code 326199 comprises establishments primarily engaged in 
manufacturing plastic products (except film, sheet, bags, profile 
shapes, pipes, pipe fittings, laminates, foam products, bottles, 
plumbing fixtures, and resilient floor coverings).
    \3\ 2002 Economic Census--Manufacturing Series. Washington, DC: 
U.S. Census Bureau, December 2004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, there could be some indirect effects on producers of 
livestock in the event that any potential costs to the manufacturers of 
eartags are passed on to producers in the form of higher eartag prices. 
In 2006, there were a total of 971,400 cattle operations, 65,540 hog 
and pig operations, and 69,090 sheep and lamb operations.\4\ The 
overwhelming majority of these operations would be considered small 
entities according to SBA standards.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ USDA-NASS, 2007 Agricultural Statistics, Tables 7-18, 7-26, 
and 7-53. Washington, DC: National Agricultural Statistics Service.
    \5\ The small entity definition for livestock producers (NAICS 
codes: 112111, 112120, 112210, 112410, and 112420) is one that has 
$750,000 or less in annual receipts, according to the SBA's Table of 
Size Standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All of the changes contained in this proposed rule are intended to 
strengthen USDA's ability to respond effectively in the event of a 
disease outbreak or other animal health event. The alternative to the 
proposed rule would have been to leave the regulations unchanged, 
thereby limiting the effectiveness of USDA's disease control programs. 
This was not considered a viable option; therefore, the no-action 
alternative was rejected.

Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will 
be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and 
(3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may 
file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no new information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects

9 CFR Part 71

    Animal diseases, Livestock, Poultry and poultry products, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

[[Page 1639]]

9 CFR Part 77

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation, Tuberculosis.

9 CFR Part 78

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Hogs, Quarantine, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

9 CFR Part 79

    Animal diseases, Quarantine, Sheep, Transportation.

9 CFR Part 80

    Animal diseases, Livestock, Transportation.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 9 CFR parts 71, 77, 78, 79, and 80 
as follows:

PART 71--GENERAL PROVISIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    2. Section 71.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), official eartag, official identification 
device or method, and premises identification number (PIN) and adding 
definitions of Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS), 
flock identification number (FIN), and National Uniform Eartagging 
System in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  71.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The AIN contains 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code 
(840 for the United States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric 
code assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording. Only the AIN beginning 
with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags 
applied to animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date 
of final rule].
    Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS). A Web-based 
system maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, 
the allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The AINMS may also be used for tracking the disposition of other 
official identification devices.
* * * * *
    Flock identification number (FIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State or Federal animal health authority to a group of 
animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and are 
under the same ownership. The FIN must begin with the State postal 
abbreviation, must have no more than nine alphanumeric characters, and 
must not contain the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than as part 
of the State postal abbreviation. FINs will be linked in the National 
Scrapie Database to one or more premises identification numbers and may 
be used in conjunction with an animal number unique within the flock to 
provide a distinctive official identification number for an animal, or 
may be used in conjunction with the date and a sequence number to 
provide a group/lot identification number for a group of animals when 
group identification is permitted.
* * * * *
    National Uniform Eartagging System. A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The National Uniform Eartagging System employs an eight- or nine-
character alphanumeric format, consisting of a two-number State or 
territory code, followed by two or three letters and four additional 
numbers. Official APHIS disease control programs may specify which 
format to employ.
* * * * *
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS to provide 
unique identification for individual animals. Beginning [Insert date 1 
year after effective date of final rule], all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear the U.S. shield. The design, size, shape, color, 
and other characteristics of the official eartag will depend on the 
needs of the users, subject to the approval of the Administrator. The 
official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate 
in the animal. A record of all official eartags issued or distributed 
to premises in conjunction with a Federal disease program must be 
maintained by the State where the premises to which they are issued are 
located. The record must adequately correlate each official eartag 
number with the premises identification number (PIN) to which it is 
issued or distributed. Such correlation must be done using the Animal 
Identification Number Management System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping 
systems approved by the Administrator. Specific requirements for the 
distribution of official eartags bearing the Animal identification 
number (AIN) are provided in paragraph (2) below. Official eartags for 
sheep and goats must be approved for use in the scrapie program in 
accordance with Sec.  79.2(f) of this subchapter. Numbers applied to 
official eartags must adhere to one of the following numbering systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System.
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN). AIN eartags attached to any 
animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must display an AIN with an 840 prefix. These numbers must be 
correlated with the premises identification number of the premises to 
which they are issued using the AINMS.
    (3) Premises-based number system. The premises-based number system 
combines a premises identification number (PIN), as defined in this 
section, with a producer's livestock production numbering system to 
provide a unique identification number. The PIN and the production 
number must both appear on the official tag. Official eartags using a 
premises-based numbering system that are issued on or after [Insert 
date 1 year after effective date of final rule] must employ the seven-
character alphanumeric PIN format.
    (4) Flock-based number system. The flock-based number system 
combines a flock identification number (FIN), as defined in this 
section, with a producer's livestock production numbering system to 
provide a unique identification number. The FIN and the production 
number must both appear and be distinct on the official tag and may not 
include the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than as part of a 
State postal abbreviation.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the identification of animals in commerce.
    Official identification device or method. A means of officially 
identifying an animal or group of animals using devices or methods 
approved by the Administrator, including, but not limited to, official 
tags, tattoos, and registered brands when accompanied by a certificate 
of inspection from a recognized brand inspection authority. The U.S. 
shield is reserved only for use on official identification devices 
approved by APHIS and may not be used on any other devices.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by

[[Page 1640]]

a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to a premises 
that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal 
health authority, a geographically distinct location from other 
premises. The premises identification number is associated with an 
address, geospatial coordinates, and/or location descriptors which 
provide a verifiably unique location. The premises identification 
number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own livestock 
production numbering system to provide a unique identification number 
for an animal. It may also be used as a component of a group/lot 
identification number. Premises identification numbers issued on or 
after [Insert effective date of final rule] shall consist of a seven 
character alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a 
check digit. The check digit number is based upon the ISO 7064 Mod 36/
37 check digit algorithm.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  71.19, paragraph (b)(7) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  71.19  Identification of swine in interstate commerce.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (7) For adult swine moving directly to slaughter, an eartag bearing 
the premises identification number assigned by the State animal health 
official to the premises on which the swine originated, provided the 
eartag has been approved by APHIS and, beginning [Insert date 1 year 
after effective date of final rule], bears the U.S. shield. For feeder 
swine, an eartag or tattoo bearing the premises identification number 
assigned by the State animal health official to the premises on which 
the swine originated; and
* * * * *
    4. Section 71.22 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  71.22  Removal and loss of official identification devices.

    Official identification devices are intended to provide permanent 
identification of livestock and to ensure the ability to find the 
source of animal disease outbreaks. Removal of these devices, including 
devices applied to imported animals in their countries of origin and 
recognized by the Administrator as official, is prohibited except at 
the time of slaughter; at other points of termination, such as 
rendering facilities or diagnostic laboratories; in compliance with 
Food Safety and Inspection Service regulations regarding the collection 
of all manmade identification and the correlation of such with 
carcasses through final inspection; or as otherwise authorized by the 
Administrator. If an official identification device is lost and it is 
necessary to retag an animal with a new official number, every effort 
should be made to correlate the new official number with the previous 
official number of the animal. Official identification devices are not 
to be sold or otherwise transferred from the premises to which they 
were originally issued to another premises without authorization by 
APHIS.

PART 77--TUBERCULOSIS

    5. The authority citation for part 77 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    6. Section 77.2 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), official eartag, and premises 
identification number (PIN) and adding definitions of Animal 
Identification Number Management System (AINMS) and National Uniform 
Eartagging System in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  77.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The AIN contains 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code 
(840 for the United States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric 
code assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording. Only the AIN beginning 
with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags 
applied to animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date 
of final rule].
    Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS). A Web-based 
system maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, 
the allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The AINMS may also be used for tracking the disposition of other 
official identification devices.
* * * * *
    National Uniform Eartagging System. A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The National Uniform Eartagging System employs an eight-or nine-
character alphanumeric format, consisting of a two-number State or 
territory code, followed by two or three letters and four additional 
numbers. Official APHIS disease control programs may specify which 
format to employ.
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS to provide 
unique identification for individual animals. Beginning [Insert date 1 
year after effective date of final rule], all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear the U.S. shield. The design, size, shape, color, 
and other characteristics of the official eartag will depend on the 
needs of the users, subject to the approval of the Administrator. The 
official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate 
in the animal. All official eartags used in Federal disease programs 
must be correlated with the premises identification number of the 
premises to which they are issued using the Animal Identification 
Number Management System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping systems 
approved by the Administrator. Numbers applied to official eartags must 
adhere to one of the following numbering systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System. The tuberculosis program 
requires the use of the nine-character format for cattle and bison.
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN). AIN eartags attached to any 
animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must display an AIN with an 840 prefix. These numbers must be 
correlated with the premises identification number of the premises to 
which they are issued using the AINMS.
    (3) Premises-based number system. The premises-based number system 
combines a premises identification number (PIN), as defined in this 
section, with a producer's livestock production numbering system to 
provide a unique identification number. The PIN and the production 
number must both appear on the official tag. Official eartags using a 
premises-based numbering system that are issued on or after [Insert 
date 1 year after effective date of final rule] must employ the seven-
character alphanumeric PIN format.
    (4) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the identification of animals in commerce.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority, a geographically distinct location 
from other premises. The premises identification number is associated 
with

[[Page 1641]]

an address, geospatial coordinates, and/or location descriptors which 
provide a verifiably unique location. The premises identification 
number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own livestock 
production numbering system to provide a unique identification number 
for an animal. It may also be used as a component of a group/lot 
identification number. Premises identification numbers issued on or 
after [Insert effective date of final rule] shall consist of a seven-
character alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a 
check digit. The check digit number is based upon the ISO 7064 Mod 36/
37 check digit algorithm.
* * * * *

PART 78--BRUCELLOSIS

    7. The authority citation for part 78 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    8. Section 78.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), official eartag, and official 
identification device or method and adding definitions of Animal 
Identification Number Management System (AINMS) and National Uniform 
Eartagging System in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  78.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The AIN contains 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code 
(840 for the United States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric 
code assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording. Only the AIN beginning 
with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags 
applied to animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date 
of final rule].
    Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS). A Web-based 
system maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, 
the allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The AINMS may also be used for tracking the disposition of other 
official identification devices.
* * * * *
    National Uniform Eartagging System. A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The National Uniform Eartagging System employs an eight-or nine-
character alphanumeric format, consisting of a two-number State or 
territory code, followed by two or three letters and four additional 
numbers. Official APHIS disease control programs may specify which 
format to employ.
* * * * *
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS to provide 
unique identification for individual animals. Beginning [Insert date 1 
year after effective date of final rule], all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear the U.S. shield. The design, size, shape, color, 
and other characteristics of the official eartag will depend on the 
needs of the users, subject to the approval of the Administrator. The 
official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate 
in the animal. All official eartags used in Federal disease programs 
must be correlated with the premises identification number of the 
premises to which they are issued using the Animal Identification 
Number Management System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping systems 
approved by the Administrator. Numbers applied to official eartags must 
adhere to one of the following numbering systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System. The brucellosis program 
requires the use of the nine-character format for cattle.
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN). AIN eartags attached to any 
animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must display an AIN with an 840 prefix. These numbers must be 
correlated with the premises identification number of the premises to 
which they are issued using the AINMS.
    (3) Premises-based number system. The premises-based number system 
combines an official premises identification number (PIN), as defined 
in Sec.  71.1 of this chapter, with a producer's livestock production 
numbering system to provide a unique identification number. The PIN and 
the production number must both appear on the official tag. Official 
eartags using a premises-based numbering system that are issued on or 
after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final rule] must 
employ the seven-character alphanumeric PIN format.
    (4) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the identification of animals in commerce.
    Official identification device or method. A means of officially 
identifying an animal or group of animals using devices or methods 
approved by the Administrator, including, but not limited to, official 
tags, tattoos, and registered brands when accompanied by a certificate 
of inspection from a recognized brand inspection authority. The U.S. 
shield is reserved only for use on official identification devices 
approved by APHIS and may not be used on any other devices.
* * * * *

PART 79--SCRAPIE IN SHEEP AND GOATS

    9. The authority citation for part 79 continues to read as follows:


    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    10. Section 79.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), official eartag, official identification 
device or method, and premises identification number (PIN) and adding 
definitions of Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS) 
and flock identification number (FIN) in alphabetical order to read as 
follows:


Sec.  79.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The AIN contains 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code 
(840 for the United States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric 
code assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording. Only the AIN beginning 
with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags 
applied to animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date 
of final rule].
    Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS). A Web-based 
system maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, 
the allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The AINMS may also be used for tracking the disposition of other 
official identification devices.
* * * * *
    Flock identification number (FIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State or Federal animal health authority to a group of 
animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and

[[Page 1642]]

are under the same ownership. The FIN must begin with the State postal 
abbreviation, must have no more than nine alphanumeric characters, and 
must not contain the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than as part 
of the State postal abbreviation. FINs will be linked in the National 
Scrapie Database to one or more premises identification numbers and may 
be used in conjunction with an animal number unique within the flock to 
provide a unique official identification number for an animal, or may 
be used in conjunction with the date and a sequence number to provide a 
group/lot identification number for a group of animals when group 
identification is permitted.
* * * * *
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved for use on sheep 
and/or goats by APHIS in accordance with Sec.  79.2(f). Beginning 
[Insert date 1 year after effective date of final rule], all official 
eartags applied to animals must bear the U.S. shield. The design, size, 
shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will 
depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the 
Administrator. The official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a 
high retention rate in the animal. Numbers to be applied to official 
eartags for sheep and goats must be correlated with the corresponding 
premises identification number and, where applicable, flock 
identification number in the National Scrapie Database. The numbers 
must adhere to one of the following numbering systems:
    (1) Animal identification number (AIN). AIN eartags attached to any 
animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must display an AIN with an 840 prefix. These numbers must be 
correlated with the premises identification number of the premises to 
which they are issued using the Animal Identification Number Management 
System (AINMS) and, if applicable, the flock identification number in 
the National Scrapie Database.
    (2) Premises-based number system. The premises-based number system 
combines a premises identification number (PIN), as defined in this 
section, with a producer's livestock production numbering system to 
provide a unique identification number. The PIN and the production 
number must both appear and be distinct on the official tag. PINs or 
production numbers that contain the letters ``I'' or ``O'' may not be 
used as the primary identifier on official sheep or goat eartags. 
Official eartags using a premises-based numbering system that are 
issued on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must employ the seven-character alphanumeric PIN format.
    (3) A flock identification number (FIN), as defined in this 
section, is used in conjunction with a producer's livestock production 
numbering system to provide a unique identification number. The FIN and 
the production number must both appear and be distinct on the official 
tag and may not include the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than 
as part of a State postal abbreviation. The FIN must be correlated in 
the National Scrapie Database with one or more PINs.
    (4) A unique eight-character number composed of the State postal 
abbreviation followed by two alphanumeric characters (not including the 
letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'') and four numbers.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the identification of sheep and goats in commerce.
* * * * *
    Official identification device or method. A means of officially 
identifying an animal or group of animals using devices or methods 
approved by the Administrator, including, but not limited to, official 
tags, tattoos, and registered brands when accompanied by a certificate 
of inspection from a recognized brand inspection authority. The U.S. 
shield is reserved only for use on official identification devices 
approved by APHIS and may not be used on any other devices.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority, a geographically distinct location 
from other premises. The premises identification number is associated 
with an address, geospatial coordinates, and/or location descriptors 
which provide a verifiably unique location. The premises identification 
number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own livestock 
production numbering system to provide a unique identification number 
for an animal. It may also be used as a component of a group/lot 
identification number. Premises identification numbers issued on or 
after [Insert effective date of final rule] shall consist of a seven-
character alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a 
check digit. The check digit number is based upon the ISO 7064 Mod 36/
37 check digit algorithm.
* * * * *

PART 80--JOHNE'S DISEASE IN DOMESTIC ANIMALS

    11. The authority citation for part 80 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.

    12. Section 80.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), official eartag, and premises 
identification number (PIN) and adding definitions of Animal 
Identification Number Management System (AINMS), Flock Identification 
Number (FIN), and National Uniform Eartagging System in alphabetical 
order to read as follows:
* * * * *


Sec.  80.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The AIN contains 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code 
(840 for the United States), the alpha characters USA, or the numeric 
code assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording. Only the AIN beginning 
with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags 
applied to animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date 
of final rule].
    Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS). A Web-based 
system maintained by APHIS to keep records of authorized AIN devices, 
the allocation of AINs to authorized manufacturers of AIN devices, the 
distribution of AIN devices to premises, and the termination of AIN 
tags. The AINMS may also be used for tracking the disposition of other 
official identification devices.
* * * * *
    Flock identification number (FIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State or Federal animal health authority to a group of 
animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and are 
under the same ownership. The FIN must begin with the State postal 
abbreviation, must have no more than nine alphanumeric characters, and 
must not contain the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than as part 
of the State postal abbreviation. FINs will be linked in the National 
Scrapie Database to one or more premises identification numbers

[[Page 1643]]

and may be used in conjunction with an animal number unique within the 
flock to provide a unique official identification number for an animal, 
or may be used in conjunction with the date and a sequence number to 
provide a group/lot identification number for a group of animals when 
group identification is permitted.
* * * * *
    National Uniform Eartagging System. A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States 
providing a nationally unique identification number for each animal. 
The National Uniform Eartagging System employs an eight- or nine-
character alphanumeric format, consisting of a two-number State or 
territory code, followed by two or three letters and four additional 
numbers. Official APHIS disease programs may specify which format to 
employ.
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS to provide 
unique identification for individual animals. Beginning [Insert date 1 
year after effective date of final rule], all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear the U.S. shield. The design, size, shape, color, 
and other characteristics of the official eartag will depend on the 
needs of the users, subject to the approval of the Administrator. The 
official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate 
in the animal. All official eartags used in Federal disease programs 
must be correlated with the premises identification number of the 
premises to which they are issued using the Animal Identification 
Number Management System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping systems 
approved by the Administrator. Official eartags for sheep and goats 
must be approved for use in the National Scrapie Eradication Program in 
accordance with Sec.  79.2(f) of this subchapter. Numbers applied to 
official eartags must adhere to one of the following numbering systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System. The Johne's program 
requires the use of the nine-character format for cattle.
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN). AIN eartags attached to any 
animals on or after [Insert date 1 year after effective date of final 
rule] must display an AIN with an 840 prefix. These numbers must be 
correlated with the premises identification number of the premises to 
which they are issued using the AINMS.
    (3) Premises-based number system. The premises-based number system 
combines a premises identification number (PIN), as defined in this 
section, with a producer's livestock production numbering system to 
provide a unique identification number. The PIN and the production 
number must both appear on the official tag. Official eartags using a 
premises-based numbering system that are issued on or after [Insert 
date 1 year after effective date of final rule] must employ the seven-
character alphanumeric PIN format.
    (4) A flock identification number (FIN), as defined in this 
section, used in conjunction with a producer's livestock production 
numbering system to provide a unique identification number. The FIN and 
the production number must both appear and be distinct on the official 
tag and may not include the letters ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'' other than 
as part of a State postal abbreviation.
    (5) In the case of sheep and goats, a unique eight-digit number 
composed of the State postal abbreviation followed by two letters (not 
including ``I,'' ``O,'' or ``Q'') and four numbers.
    (6) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the identification of animals in commerce.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority, a geographically distinct location 
from other premises. The premises identification number is associated 
with an address, geospatial coordinates, and/or location descriptors 
which provide a verifiably unique location. The premises identification 
number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own livestock 
production numbering system to provide a unique identification number 
for an animal. It may also be used as a component of a group/lot 
identification number. Premises identification numbers issued on or 
after [Insert effective date of final rule] shall consist of a seven-
character alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a 
check digit. The check digit number is based upon the ISO 7064 Mod 36/
37 check digit algorithm.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 7th day of January 2009.
Cindy J. Smith,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E9-353 Filed 1-13-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P