On March 11 the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a hearing to learn more about the current status of the National Animal Identification System. Witnesses were the Deputy Administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, four livestock producers representing different organizations, the CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Canadian and Australian representatives to discuss their nation's animal identification programs.
There were lengthy discussions on the pros and cons of a voluntary versus a mandatory animal identification system.
"Today's testimony highlighted the many issues USDA has yet to address with regard to animal ID. It has become increasingly clear that the protection of our constituents' proprietary information needs to be a greater concern for USDA, and they have not made a convincing argument that the capability of protecting that information exists today.
"Many of the witnesses made a strong case that the benefits of a mandatory animal ID system do not measure up to the costs for such a system. I continue to believe we must work to develop a voluntary national animal ID program that allows flexibility for different types of producers and ID methods," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer.
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