Editorial by Keith Smith 01/05/2006.
The Texas Animal Health Commission is plowing ahead toward compliance to a proven broken system of food-animal identification.
I specially like the phrase used in the fact sheet below " and to assess and collect fees for premises registration".
A Texas and national id system makes sense. The currently proposed system does not.
It is supported by large corporate ranches and processors who see it as a means to implement their "country of origin" efforts. That program is nothing more than an ego stroking salve that defies the definition of "country of origin".
Illegally netted fish, for instance, are shipped from their Northern Pacific killing grounds to Peru from which US processors, knowing full well the true origin, import and mark them as "products of Peru".
The bottom line? Un-enforcable, poorly conceived programs only result in the alienation of honest ranchers and more money in the pockets of the dishonest ones.
The following was sent to many Texas producers. Please read it carefully before you jump on the bandwagon in support of the current program.
Comments may be submitted to TAHC through the yellow highlighted contacts below. and must be received by 4 p.m. Monday, February 6, 2006.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 5:12
Subject: TAHC Proposes Regulations for
Fact Sheet from the Texas Animal Health
Premises Identification Proposed
Commissioners for the Texas Animal Health
Commission (TAHC) proposed regulations for Texas’ premises and animal
identification program at their December meeting. Comments will be accepted on
the proposals for 45 days from publication in the Texas Register.
Comments must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, February 6, 2006, and may be
to (512) 719-0721
or mailed to: Delores Holubec, TAHC, Box 12966, Austin, TX
The entire text of the rule proposal may be found at:
you have trouble accessing the page and would like to review the text, please
email Carla Everett at email@example.com.
regulations were proposed...
During the recent legislative
session, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1361, authorizing the TAHC to
develop and implement an animal identification system consistent with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Identification System
(NAIS). HB 1361 (Chapter 161.056 of the Texas Agriculture Code)
also authorizes the TAHC to determine when premises identification will be
required and to assess and collect fees for premises registration.
As the NAIS is phased in, the TAHC’s program also will
evolve. TAHC commissioners have proposed regulations at this time for
premises identification only. Premises identification is the foundation
for all other components of the NAIS.
Prior to July 1, 2006,
premises in Texas may be registered at no charge, and the premises
identification number will remain valid through June 30, 2008.
Although the 7-character premises identification number will not change, the
premises registration must be renewed July 1, 2008, and every 24 months
thereafter. At renewal, the proposed regulations provide for a yearly premises
registration fee of $10, paid biennially. The $20 two-year registration fee is
to be submitted to the TAHC at the time of registration
On July 1, 2006, premises registration will be
compulsory in Texas. All persons who own, manage or are
caretakers for locations where livestock, exotic livestock, poultry, or exotic
poultry are handled must register their premises with the TAHC and submit the
$20 two-year fee. Renewal and fee payment will be required every 24
Privacy considerations under the proposed
Information collected by the TAHC for premises or
animal identification is exempt from public disclosure requirements under the
Texas Public Information Act.
Compliance and the
Although the TAHC commissioners always
urge voluntary compliance with agency regulations, the proposals include
penalties for noncompliance.
The Texas Agriculture
Code (law) may be found on the TAHC website at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us, by
selecting the "Statutes and Regulations" link on the front page.
Basics of the National Animal Identification System
The goal of the NAIS is to enable animal
health officials to identify locations where infected or exposed animals have
been and to track animal movement from those locations within 48 hours, in the
event of an animal disease outbreak. Three main components comprise the
Premises identification defines a geographic site,
such as ranches, farms, feedlots, livestock markets, slaughter establishments,
rendering or carcass collection points, veterinary clinics, livestock show,
fair or exhibition sites, quarantine facilities, laboratories, ports of entry,
or any other facilities where animals are handled. These include cattle,
horses, mules, asses, sheep, goats and hogs; exotic livestock; domestic fowl,
such as chickens, turkeys, and game birds; and poultry and exotic
The premises number is a unique 7-character code,
issued by the TAHC or USDA. Owners or managers can register their premises and
obtain the unique code online at the TAHC web site at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us.
Applications also may be obtained at many cooperative extension service
offices, livestock markets, veterinary clinics or from livestock and poultry
associations. As of early December, more than 4,200 premises in Texas had been
registered. In the U.S. (including Texas), about 160,000 have been
A person who owns or manages two or more locations
and commingles animals may register the locations under one premises number.
However, if a person maintains livestock on multiple locations but does not
commingle the animals, then each location should be registered
Animal identification, when
implemented, will require that certain species of animals are tagged
with a uniquely numbered 15-digit electronic identification device when they
are moved from their herd of origin, or are commingled with animals from other
premises. The device is intended to remain with the animal for life. If
a device is lost, the animal can be retagged.
Under the national
animal identification system (NAIS), still in development, premises numbers
will NOT be imprinted on the animal identification devices. The unique
7-character premises identification and the
15-digit animal identification
device number will correlate only in records. Each animal identification
device will be individually numbered.
In the NAIS, some species,
such as commercially produced swine or poultry, may be identified by group/lot
numbers, provided the animals are held and managed as a group throughout the
pre-harvest production process.
Animal tracking, the
final component of the national plan, will involve recording and
reporting those animals moved, sold, commingled or slaughtered. This
component, when implemented, will enable efficient tracing of animals for
disease eradication efforts.
Additional NAIS information and
links can be found on the TAHC web site at: