DES MOINES, IOWA — Last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) eliminating the National Animal Identification System (N.A.I.S.) does not change the National Pork Board’s (N.P.B.’s) ongoing objective of pork producers someday having a timely disease surveillance and protection for the U.S. swine herd, the board said.

Premises identification is the cornerstone of animal health and disease surveillance, said Dr. Paul Sundberg, N.P.B. vice-president of science and technology.

"This new direction does not change that fact and the pork industry remains committed to these critical efforts,” he added. “The pork industry is committed to working collaboratively with U.S.D.A. and state animal-health officials to provide a sound system. Pork producers have demonstrated their confidence in premises identification through their participation and it is important that we maintain this voluntary cooperation."

The U.S. swine industry already has more than 90% of its farms identified through premises identification, according to U.S.D.A. data. The checkoff's swine health committee and the committee's Animal ID Working Group both supported the N.A.I.S. and incorporated elements of the program as a requirement in the industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program.

The checkoff said U.S.D.A.’s announcement does not change its reliance on a voluntary premises identification program as an integral part of our swine health initiatives. The committee said it will work closely with U.S.D.A. and state animal-health officials in maintaining its progress toward improved swine disease surveillance.