National ID (NAIS) Programming

Byron Leu, Livestock Field Specialist, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

Many segments of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) are misunderstood by livestock producers.  The central theme of this National ID program is to provide a mechanism to trace animals diagnosed with a threatening disease.  Through this process, infected animals could be quickly identified, isolated, and monitored to control a potential disease outbreak.  However, a number of issues challenge the success of the NAIS.  Included on this list are questions and concerns regarding whether the program is needed, clear definitions of the purpose and cost of the program, and issues with the collection, management, and ownership of the data.

Programmatic Response:

In the January-April 2006 time frame, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) was initiating the first step of the NAIS programto identify and register premises.   However, interest in the signup process was slow and producers indicated their lack of understanding relative to this voluntary programs framework.  To address this, Iowa Beef Center staff member Byron Leu cooperated with the Iowa Cattlemens Association, local cattlemens association representatives, and ISU Extension Service personnel to provide informational meetings to address the NAIS program basics.  Information was presented at four meeting sites to over 230 people.  Also, NAIS program details were incorporated in FSQA training sessions designed for 4-H members in the southeast Iowa area.  Over 870 youth, family members, and volunteers were introduced to the program and its potential benefits at 13 of these educational events. 


The primary goal of these educational events was to present a clear understanding of the programs purpose, structure, and protocol to producers as well as ag business representatives.  It was clear that the majority of attendees were confused and challenged by the NAIS programwhich led to distrust and misunderstanding.  These programs addressed the many concerns and issues that had been generated in the country about the NAIS programwith an end result of many producers applying for their premise ID.  These programs reached a significant number of operations and reduced misconceptions and fallacies regarding the program.  It should be noted that presenters also promoted the potential benefits that could be incorporated in this type of program, resulting in added value by associating animal data with the animal ID process through a verified, audited system.  This awareness process will continue as the evolution of the NAIS program is revitalized.

February 12, 2007
140 - Iowa Beef Center

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