Global Animal Management, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schering-Plough Animal Health, announced USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has named the company as an interim animal tracking database participant for the National Animal Identification System. USDA administered an independent review of Global Animal Management's Animal Tracker program, and has reported the system meets all requirements for participation in the interim/development phase.
Global Animal Management will utilize its Animal Tracker program to feed data into the USDA's information system when animal health officials are responding to an animal disease. This will allow those beef and dairy producers already using the company's TRI-MERIT age, process and source verification program to easily become participants in the animal tracking component of the NAIS when they choose to do so. Since the NAIS is a voluntary program, TRI-MERIT users will decide if they want their animals' movement records considered for inclusion on a disease traceback investigation. USDA will only request movement records from participating ATDs when an animal disease of concern has been confirmed.
The participation of Global Animal Management in this interim phase as an animal tracking database provider is an important step toward developing an infrastructure that will ensure timely advancement of the NAIS. This designation will allow Global Animal Management to further extend the value of the solutions it currently offers livestock producers.
"We are working to supply our customers with solutions to meet their needs. As we see it today, those needs are centered on uniquely identifying their animals, capturing data specific to the animals and then communicating that data to a third party," says Jim Heinle, president, Global Animal Management. "Global Animal Management's product, TRI-MERIT, is constructed in such a way to allow producers all the flexibility they may need to comply with upcoming NAIS requirements or take advantage of value-added programs such as age, source and process verification. It's a one-stop shop."
The TRI-MERIT program is also pending approval for a Process Verified Program certification, which will allow producers to turn their generic calves into "branded" livestock. TRI-MERIT works for producers seeking to take advantage of potential premiums for age, source or process verified beef or veal, and at the same time will easily allow producers to meet future NAIS compliance requirements without any additional work. All of these options work together to provide producers solutions to their needs all in one platform. Producers can access the system independently or through their veterinarians to meet their animal identification and data management requirements.
Jeff Marshall, head auctioneer at a sale barn in Lexington, Neb., says he is eager to see more cattle entering the sale barn that are easily traceable. Currently about 10 to 15 percent of the 130,000 head that pass through the Lexington Livestock Exchange each year are age, source and process verified.
"More and more of my customers are demanding animal identification and age and source verification," Marshall says. "There is definitely a market premium for age and source verified cattle. This is an important step to continue building and growing our industry."