Livestock News

How animal traceability protects our food supply

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Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium is debuting a video highlighting the importance of animal disease traceability and the use of premises registration and individual animal identification — including the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags — to protect the food supply. The video explains how farm to fork traceability starts by tagging animals at the farm of origin through the end of life, and how using this technology provides fast and easy traceback in case of an animal disease outbreak.

Viewers will gain perspective on how to implement this technology on their farm — including the many ways livestock producers already use tagging in their daily operations. Both producers and industry professionals will see examples of traceability and the important role it has in case of an animal disease outbreak, as well as the overall benefits to farm management and the added value to the end product.

RFID tags are already required for movements into and out of state, as well as when importing and exporting out of country. Many county fair programs also utilize RFID tags due to the high contact of animals from many different locations.

The video also explains what happens to all the data collected, how it is entered into the database and protected by WLIC, and how it would be used by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to immediately halt movement and limit disease spread should an outbreak occur.

“The recent COVID-19 outbreak shows us how quickly disease can spread in humans and the crucial importance of having a traceability plan in place to protect our food supply,” said Jodi Legge, WLIC’s Executive Director. “While we prepared this video prior to COVID-19, we think this will serve as a great tool for many as we prepare robust animal disease traceability plans and understand the consumer demand for complete food transparency will only continue to grow.”

Grant funding for the video was provided by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Foundation, with additional sponsorship dollars provided by AllFlex USA, Inc., and Trace First, Inc. WLIC is looking for additional sponsors to help with production, distribution and supplemental material costs.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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