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USDA wants to avoid mandatory animal IDs

The USDA is boosting its efforts to get livestock producers signed up in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) ahead of mandatory country of origin labelling (COOL) legislation that becomes effective later this year.Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer stated that he prefers not to make NAIS mandatory, but warned it could happen if not enough producers sign up voluntarily.

“We are doing it on a voluntary basis. We have about a third of the premises signed up. We've kicked up our cooperative agreements with states and livestock organisations with a goal of getting them signed up. It seems as though if we are going to implement COOL you must have an animal ID system because you need to be able to trace things back and forth.”
The recently passed farm bill sets a September timeframe for COOL to become effective.
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