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Animal ID Facts

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Well-known member
Feb 13, 2005
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Gilroy/San Martin, Ca.
I hope I'm Not Boring With These Articals
The Ag News Paper I started when I was 13 got me on some good mailing list. I just forward emails

This comes from http://cattlenetwork.com

The Bigger Picture: Electronic Animal Identification (EID)

Out of the belief that high demand equates to high return, many producers may apply radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags to their cattle this spring. However, if the producer does not have a Quality System Assessment (QSA), Process Verified Program (PVP), or a Value Added Cattle (VAC) Program in mind, the RFID ear tag may generate nothing more for the producer than red ink. The driving force behind the demand for individual cattle identification is not increased revenue, but the safeguarding of Animal Health in this country.

The USDA Quality System Assessment Program (QSA)

According to the USDA, a QSA program provides consistent quality products or services. It is limited to programs where specified requirements are supported by a documented quality management system which is verified through independent, third party audits conducted by the Audit, Review, and Compliance (ARC) Branch. In order to operate an approved QSA program, a supplier must submit a documented quality management system that not only meets the requirements of ARC 1002 Procedures, but also passes documented review and on-site audit.

Example of a QSA Program

Greater Omaha Packing Company has a QSA with program requirements for the production of age verified cattle. For a complete list of approved QSA programs go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/arc/qsap.htm

USDA Process Verified Program (PVP)

According to the USDA, a PVP program provides consistent quality products or services. Confined to programs that have not only ISO 9000 series standards documenting manufacturing or service delivery processes, but also are verified through independent, third party audits. USDA PVP suppliers can use marketing claims that may involve breed, feed, health, or other rearing and processing claims. Approved USDA PVP programs have passed document review, ARC onsite audit, and are congruent with all criteria of their approved Process Verified Program.

Examples of a PVP Program

Red Angus Association of America has a PVP based on breed claim. All live animals must be Source Verified, genetically 50% or higher Red Angus, and progeny of a registered Red Angus sire or dam. IMI Global’s PVP program is focused on the age and source verification of cattle. All PVP programs have set process program requirements that each participant must abide by in order to qualify for the marketing claim provided for in the PVP program. To ensure reliability, each stage of the defined process is verified through Independent Audit. In short, the PVP program was created by the Agriculture Marketing Services (AMS) so they could audit marketing statements to ensure a process is in place to verify that the claim is something more than just a synthetic presumption. For a complete list of approved PVP programs go to http://processverified.usda.gov

The Difference between QSA and PVP programs

The scope of verification is the biggest difference between the two programs. Both programs have to essentially meet the same requirements, but QSA programs only verify one or two product attributes such as the production of age verified cattle. Where as PVP programs have to verify all attributes defined in the process of the marketing claim. For example, “Cornfed” means verifying cattle were fed a diet of corn for a minimum of 100 days at a 60 MKal (of Neg). PVP and QSA programs follow a documented process that guarantees product attributes and their resulting marketing claims can be verified through monitoring, certification, traceability, and preservation activities. Both QSA and PVP programs have become very important tools to meet the demands of our domestic and export markets.

Value Added Cattle (VAC) Sales

Most VAC programs are offered by large Stockyards or Sale Barnes. Joplin Regional Stockyards market cattle that have followed value-added procedures through special VAC sales. These VAC sales may include cattle that have followed optimal feeding programs, health programs, age and source programs, or individual animal identification programs. The Oklahoma National Stockyards have VAC sales for Merial SureHealth certified cattle. Local sale barns may still offer premiums for cattle that are Individually Identified, but as the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) moves forward, these sales will fade away.

Other Reasons Producers May Have to Apply EID Tags

Some producers may want to apply RFID ear tags to comply with the forthcoming NAIS system, however, as of Nov, 2005 the NAIS still has not announced where the centralized data base will be located. The most single important thing producers can do to prepare for the NAIS system is to obtain a Premise Identification Number (PIN) from their State or Tribe. A complete state and tribe listing of Premise information can be found at http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/index.shtml. Another reason producers may have for individually identifying cattle is the wealth of information that can be collected about the herd. Data-Collection alone can improve herd management by documenting traits of age, pedigree, source, preconditioning, weight, medical treatments, and anything else that can be tracked. Veterinarians can help producers recover the cost of EID tags by certifying these cattle attributes to be valid. The producer’s return on investment (ROI) will increase or decrease as a function of the degree to which Reliability and Validity of herd data traits can be established.

Still the primary reason producers should be looking at an EID strategy, is in the event of a disease outbreak, the quicker the disease is contained; the sooner safety will be restored to not only U.S. animals but also U.S. citizens. The goal of safeguarding U.S. animal health has the NAIS in conjunction with the USDA concentrating their limited resources on premises registration and individual animal Identification. In case of disease outbreak, something as simple as the PIN number could help local and federal animal health officials track down exposed animals much faster and avert potential spread of disease.

Source: Michelle Huey, Marketing Analyst
Professional Veterinary Products

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