Questions & Answers
for Dairy Producers
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) represents the USDA
implementation of a national animal identification program. It is based on
the United States Animal Identification Plan (USAIP) that has been
developed over the past two years by a broad based combination of
producer, allied industry, state and federal animal health officials. USDA
APHIS is leading the NAIS effort and has committed to including the basic
concepts put forward in the USAIP.
Many of the details of NAIS still need to be clarified, but USDA
indicates that they intend to follow the direction set by the USAIP. The
following Question and Answer sheet was developed based upon the direction
set by the USAIP. Since the program continues to evolve, answers to the
following questions may change as the details of the NAIS are finalized.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is the Animal ID program?|
2. Why is it being developed?
3. When will it be implemented?
4. What method of individual animal identification will be used?
5. Do I have to ID all animals even if I have a closed herd?
6. Are all species included in this program, or only dairy?
1. What is the Animal ID program?|
The U.S. animal identification system is a national program intended to identify all food animals and
livestock, as well as record their movement over the course of their lifespan. |
2. Why is it being developed?|
The key to safeguarding U.S. livestock health and commerce from the effects of animal diseases is to have a national
surveillance system in place that is comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated. The ability to identify and trace livestock
movement will enhance USDA s ability to respond to pests and animal diseases.|
3. When will it be implemented?|
USDA is still developing a specific timeline for implementation and deciding on a funding mechanism. |
4. What method of individual animal identification will be used?|
The industry endorses using ISO compliant RFID ear tags, considered the most practical technology today. However, the industry
remains receptive to other technologies that can some day prove to be both effective and efficient in either replacing or
USDA supports a system that is technology neutral so that all existing forms of effective technology and new forms of technology
that could be developed in the future may be utilized.
5. Do I have to ID all animals even if I have a closed herd?|
You will be required to obtain a premises identification number for your herd. If you transport animal(s) from your herd, those
animals would require an animal ID number at that time, and their movement recorded.
6. Are all species included in this program, or only dairy?|
Yes, all food animals and livestock are included in this program, but different species will have different requiements in the ADT program.|
Terms and Definitions
- Premise Allocator entity responsible for assigning premise ID numbers to every physical location where animals are maintained and/or interact with other animals
- National Premise Repository database that maintains premises ID and related information required to facilitate 48-hour traceback
- U.S. Animal Identification Number (AIN) a unique number used for official identification of individual animals in the U.S.
- AIN Manager entities certified by USDA to allocate animal identification numbers, and reporting the information back into the system. They are likely to work through AIN Distributors.
- AIN Distributor entity authorized to distribute AIN tags to producers.