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Posted Fri Feb 5 2010: from New York Times:
U.S.D.A. Plans to Drop Program to Trace Livestock
Faced with stiff resistance from ranchers and farmers, the Obama administration has decided to scrap a national program intended to help authorities quickly identify and track livestock in the event of an animal disease outbreak....The system was created by the Bush administration in 2004 after the discovery in late 2003 of a cow infected with mad cow disease. Participation of ranchers and farmers in the identification system was voluntary, but the goal was to give every animal, or in the case of pigs and poultry, groups of animals, a unique identification number that would be entered in a database. The movements of animals would be tracked, and if there was a disease outbreak or a sick animal was found, officials could quickly locate other animals that had been exposed. In abandoning the program, called the National Animal Identification System, officials said they would start over in trying to devise a livestock tracing program that could win widespread support from the industry....
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