[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 142 (Monday, July 27, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36998-36999]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-17797]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0027]


National Animal Identification System; Close of Comment Period

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This is a notice to inform the public that the comment period 
for the submission of stakeholder concerns related to the 
implementation of the National Animal Identification System will be 
closing on August 3, 2009. The comment period opened on May 1, 2009, 
with the publication of our first notice announcing public meetings on 
the subject. The last meeting was held on June 30, 2009, and it was our 
intention to continue to provide the public with the option of 
submitting written comments for at least 30 days following that final 
meeting.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 3, 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-2009-0027 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-2009-0027, 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-2009-0027.
    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. 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 have held 14 public meetings throughout the country and 
have been soliciting 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?
     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?

[[Page 36999]]

     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?
    During the time that the public meetings were being held, we 
provided members of the public who were not able to attend a meeting 
with the option of submitting comments via the Regulations.gov Web 
site. The last meeting was held on June 30, 2009, and it was our 
intention to continue to provide the public with the option of 
submitting written comments for at least 30 days following that final 
meeting. As noted in the heading DATES at the beginning of this notice, 
we will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 3, 
2009.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 21st day of July 2009.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E9-17797 Filed 7-24-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P