Officials in the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Industry are in the process of identifying locations that manage or hold animals and assigning them a premises identification. This is an important first step to build a state and national animal identification system established through the United States Department of Agriculture.
The goal of the national system is to be able to trace everywhere an animal has been within 48 hours of a disease outbreak. The data will help identify animals that may have been exposed to a serious disease and determined where that exposure occurred. The information will help to ensure rapid disease containment and maximum protection of New Hampshire’s animals.
Animal health incidents can have large economic, human health or food safety impacts. The impetus for a national identification and tracking system accelerated after a Canadian-born cow with (BSE) Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was diagnosed in a Washington herd in 2003, the first case detected in the United States.
Premises include farms and hobby farms; veterinary clinics; stables; livestock markets; livestock trucker and dealer premises where animals are kept; slaughter, rendering and dead animal plants; livestock exhibitions; and any other location where livestock is kept.
Farmers will receive this unique identification number for farms and other property where livestock are kept. The number is assigned to a location, similar to an address.
The bottom line is protecting producers' livelihoods by ensuring animal health, assuring consumer confidence and maintaining market access. As soon as the department can record animal movements from farms, auctions, ports of entry, slaughter facilities, and all other points of concentration, the ability to respond to disease outbreaks will be strengthened.
Participation in the National Animal ID System is voluntary. The National Animal Identification System will protect New Hampshire animal agriculture by providing producers and animal health officials with the infrastructure to:
- Improve efforts in current disease eradication and control
- Protect against foreign animal disease outbreaks
- Address threats from deliberate introduction of disease
Animal identification is designed to reduce the financial and social impacts of a potential disease outbreak. It is important to uphold and continue confidence in New Hampshire’s agricultural and livestock products.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register?
There are currently 2 ways to register a premises in New Hampshire:
1. Fill out the NH Voluntary NAIS form on our website.
2. Registrants without computer access may call Division of Animal Industry 603-271-2404 and request a form.
Who should register premises?
Any farm, including those that may only have one animal; veterinary clinics, fairgrounds where animals are exhibited; animal laboratories, markets/collection points; ports of entry; quarantine facilities; rendering plants; slaughter facilities; tagging sites; and any other locations where livestock are kept.
Why do we need an identification system?
Animal identification is not new. Animals have been identified in all of our regulatory programs since at least 1927 when the tuberculosis eradication effort began. Since Brucellosis is close to being eradicated in the United States, however, that system of tagging and identification is being phased out rapidly. Right now, several animal health programs include an animal identification component, and certain classes of livestock must be officially identified before entering interstate commerce. In addition, some animals must be identified before they can compete in shows or race on a track. So, there are multiple identification systems in place that exist for different purposes, but there is no nationwide animal identification system for all animals of any given species.
What is the advantage of NAIS?
NAIS is for disease tracking. The goal is to allow the rapid tracking of animals during a disease outbreak. The system is designed to allow state and federal officials to trace an individual animal, throughout its life, in 48 hours. The tracking system used today can take days or months to trace back animals. Even then, the search often leads to a dead end.
Is there a cost to registering premises?
No, USDA has provided funding for premises registration to New Hampshire and other states who utilize the federal registration system.
Won't NAIS cost producers a lot of money?
A disease outbreak would cost both producers and the government a tremendous amount of money. Currently, if there is a highly contagious disease, such as foot and mouth, both the industry and individual producers would suffer financially because of slow, incomplete tracing of the animals. The national animal identification system will allow the rapid tracing of animals, help limit the scope and expense of managing an outbreak and minimize an outbreak's impact on domestic and foreign markets.
Where can I obtain more information on the National Animal Identification System and Premises Registration in New Hampshire?
The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service maintains a website dedicated solely to NAIS. The site contains the most current information concerning policy and implementation of NAIS . For more information or assistance with premises registration in New Hampshire contact Dr. Stephen Crawford at (603) 271-2404 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to register your farm, download the NAIS Form from our website. Mailing information is on the form. Online registration will be available soon.
Links and Downloads
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is a national program intended to identify specific animals in the United States and record their movement over their lifespan. It is being developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State agencies—in cooperation with industry—to enable 48-hour traceback of the movements of any diseased or exposed animal. This will help to ensure rapid disease containment and maximum protection of America's animals. For the latest National Animal Identification System (NAIS) news and information go to the USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service web site.
US Animal Identification Plan Information Site (USAIP)
Camelid Working Group
American Association of Bovine Practitioners
National Institute for Animal Agr.
United States Animal Health Association
American Horse Council
National Cattlemen’s Association
American Dairy Goat Association
National Livestock Producers Association
Dr. Stephen Crawford, State Veterinarian
Tel: (603) 271-2404
Fax: (603) 271-1109
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture- Animal Industry
State House Annex 25 Capital Street, 2nd Floor Concord, NH 03301
Visit the Contact Us page for Division of Animal Industry contact information.