[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 98 (Friday, May 22, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23990-23991]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-12107]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0027]


National Animal Identification System; Public Meetings

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meetings.

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SUMMARY: This is a notice to inform the public of six upcoming meetings 
to discuss stakeholder concerns related to the implementation of the 
National Animal Identification System. The meetings are being organized 
by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

DATES: The meetings will be held on June 9, 11, 16, 18, 25, and 27, 
2009, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

ADDRESSES: The public meetings will be held in Jefferson City, MO (June 
9), Rapid City, SD (June 11), Albuquerque, NM (June 16), Riverside, CA 
(June 18), Raleigh, NC (June 25), and Jasper, FL (June 27).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Adam Grow, Director, Surveillance 
and Identification Programs, National Center for Animal Health 
Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 200, Riverdale, MD 20737; 
(301) 734-3752.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard 
animal health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated 
implementation of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in 
2004. The NAIS is a cooperative State-Federal-industry program 
administered by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS). The purpose of the NAIS is to provide a streamlined 
information system that will help producers and animal health officials 
respond quickly and effectively to animal disease events in the United 
States.
    The ultimate long-term goal of the NAIS is to provide State and 
Federal officials with the capability to identify all animals and 
premises that have had direct contact with a disease of concern within 
48 hours after discovery. Meeting that goal requires a comprehensive 
animal-disease traceability infrastructure. An NAIS User Guide and a 
Business Plan, both available on our Web site at http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/animal_id/index.shtml, provide detailed 
information about our plans for implementing the system.
    Despite concerted efforts, APHIS has not been able to fully 
implement the NAIS. Many of the same issues that producers originally 
had with the system, such as the cost and impact on small farmers, 
privacy and confidentiality, and liability, continue to cause concern.
    In order to provide individuals and organizations an opportunity to 
discuss their concerns regarding the NAIS and offer potential 
solutions, we plan to hold several public meetings and to solicit 
comments via our Web site. Our goal is to gather feedback and input 
from a wide range of stakeholders to assist us in making an informed 
decision regarding both the future of the NAIS and the objectives and 
direction for animal identification and traceability. We would 
particularly welcome feedback on the following topics:
     Cost. What are your concerns about the cost of the NAIS? 
What steps would you suggest APHIS use to address cost?
     Impact on small farmers. What are your concerns about the 
effect of the NAIS on small farmers? What approaches would you suggest 
APHIS take to address the potential impact on small farmers?
     Privacy and confidentiality. What are your concerns 
regarding how the NAIS will affect your operation's privacy and/or the 
confidentiality of your operation? What steps or tactics would you 
suggest APHIS use to address privacy and confidentiality issues?
     Liability. What are your concerns about your operation's 
liability under the NAIS? What would you suggest APHIS consider to 
address liability concerns?

[[Page 23991]]

     Premises registration. Do you have any suggestions on how 
to make premises registration, or the identification of farm or ranch 
locations, easier for stakeholders? How should we address your concerns 
regarding premises registration?
     Animal identification. Do you have any suggestions on how 
to make animal identification practical and useful to stakeholders 
while simultaneously meeting the needs of animal health officials who 
must conduct disease tracebacks?
     Animal tracing. Do you have any suggestions on how to make 
the animal tracing component practical, in particular the reporting of 
animal movements to other premises, while meeting the needs of animal 
health officials who must conduct disease tracebacks?
    The meeting schedule is tentative as of the date of this 
publication. Please check our Web site at http://www.usda.gov/nais/feedback for the most up-to-date meeting information. The list of 
discussion topics is also available on the Web site. On-site 
registration will begin at 8 a.m. on the day of each meeting. All 
persons attending must register prior to the meetings.
    Although preregistration is not required, participants are asked to 
preregister by sending APHIS an e-mail at NAISSessions@aphis.usda.gov 
or calling 301-734-0799. In the subject line of the e-mail, indicate 
your name (or organization name) and the location of the meeting you 
plan to attend. If you wish to present comments during one of the 
meetings, please include your name (or organization name) and address 
in the body of the message. Members of the public who are not able to 
attend may also submit and view comments via the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal at http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009-0027. Additional information 
regarding the meetings may be obtained from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of May 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-12107 Filed 5-20-09; 4:15 pm]
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