A group of livestock producers has formed the U.S. Animal Identification Organization to help consolidate industry traceability information.

The USAIO is a nonprofit, independent organization working with every segment of animal industry and animal health authorities, said Charles Miller, cow-calf producer from Nicholasville, Ky., who is chairman of the newly elected board.

USAE hopes to manage the industry-led animal identification movement database as prescribed by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plan.

The first board meeting was held January 10, 2006, where members of the board were elected. The board of directors will be expanded as various industry groups formally adopt the USAIO as their database repository for animal movement data needed for the NAIS, Miller said.

Initial USAIO directors are: Miller; Rick Stott, Boise, Idaho, beef producer; and Lance Kuck, Bassett, Neb., bison producer.

"This organization looks forward to working closely with industry and animal health authorities to move the NAIS forward in a positive, proactive way," Miller said. "A memorandum of understanding has been submitted by the USAIO to the USDA to form a strategic partnership and fulfill Secretary Johanns' directive for the industry to develop the database repository.

"USAIO looks forward to engaging all the interested parties to provide an effective, efficient and inexpensive database for the NAIS."

SOURCE: USAIO via Drovers Industry News.