One Out of Three Illinois Livestock Farms Enrolled in National Animal ID

Enrollment of 9,000 livestock premises in Illinois is ahead of the 25% target set for 2007, according to USDA.

Illinois livestock producers have enrolled nearly 9,000 premises under the National Animal Identification System. Livestock premises registration, the foundation of NAIS, encourages Illinois livestock producers to register their premises in a national database to ensure quick, reliable information is available in the event of an animal disease emergency.

According to USDA, 30% of the state's premises have been enrolled in the voluntary program, surpassing the 2007 target of 25%.

The NAIS is comprised of three key components: premises registration, animal identification and animal tracking. Premises registration is the foundation of NAIS. Registering your premises or location does not obligate you to participate in animal identification or tracking.

"Livestock premises registration gives us the ability to quickly identify locations of infected animals and neighboring farms that may be at risk of a potential disease outbreak," says Illinois Director of Agriculture Chuck Hartke. "I would encourage those livestock producers who have not yet registered to do so as soon as possible to help protect the Illinois livestock industry."

A database of every livestock facility in the state would significantly decrease the amount of time it would take to identify and contain a disease, points out Dr. Colleen O'Keefe, division manager of Food Safety and Animal Protection. "This system, when fully operational, will enable animals and premises that have been exposed to a disease to be identified within 48 hours of the disease's discovery, but it only works if we have full support from livestock owners," says O'Keefe.

You can register your livestock facility online in about 10 minutes. The application asks for a mailing address, contact information, type of operation and the animal species on the site. After the form is submitted, the facility will be issued a federal premise identification number.

The online application is posted on the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Web site at Mail and telephone registration also are available by writing to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, Ill., 62794, or calling toll-free (866) 299-9256.

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