Saturday, July 16, 2005Contact: Kathie Luedeke, American Horse Council
New U.S. Bill on Animal Identification Not Applicable to Horses

Another bill has been introduced in Congress calling for the establishment of a national identification system for livestock. The Livestock Identification and Marketing Opportunities (LIMO) Act (H.R. 3170) was introduced by Representative Steve King (R-IA) shortly after a second case of BSE was found in the U.S.

The bill calls for the implementation of such a national livestock identification system by 2009.

Horses Not Included

Participation in the system called for by this bill would be mandatory for “livestock,” which is defined to mean “cattle, swine, sheep, goats and poultry,” but does not include horses. Nonetheless, owners/producers of other livestock, such as horses, could participate in the system, but it would be voluntary.

Livestock Identification Board to be Established

This legislation would establish a private Livestock Identification Board (Board) to develop and maintain the livestock identification system. The system would be producer-controlled and run by stakeholders in the livestock industries involved.

This Livestock Identification Board would consist of seven voting members appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture in consultation with the Chair and ranking minority member of the relevant congressional committees, presumably the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. The voting members of the Board would be one representative from each of the cattle, swine, sheep and goat industries, poultry producers, livestock market operators, meat processors and one at-large member. Non-voting representatives on the Board would be from the USDA and State or tribal agriculture agencies. This Board would have to make periodic reports to the Secretary and the congressional committees with oversight authority.

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