NAIS Goat Working Group

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

Brief Summary Overview of Goat Working Group Discussions


*Overview of Current ID Methods
*Issues Industry Faces
*Successful Implementation
*Committee Structure

Overview of Current Goat ID Methods

*Unique Registration tattoos
*Neck/Management Tags
*Plastic and Metal Ear tags
*EIDs - Electronic Devices (MicroChips and RFID tags)
See info on registry required ID
See images of ID Methods

Problems with Ear Tags

While some believe that ear tags could most efficiently provide both visual and electronic identification, the problems with retention, infections and the issue with the LaMancha breed (very small ear), currently make it not acceptable as the only method of identification.  (See EarTags)

Existing Goat Identification Programs

*Registration Numbers and Identification Methods
*DHI Identification
*Herd Management Identification
*Scrapie Eradication Program (mandatory)
*Scrapie Flock Certification Program (voluntary)

Need to find ways to merge these existing systems and ID methods into the National Animal Identification System with uniformity across species.

Issues Facing Industry

*Multi uses for goats: Meat, Dairy, Fiber, Companions, Hiking/Packing, Brush Clearing, Biotechnology

*Dairy goat population particularly active with shows (adults and youth events)

*Large number of goats in small herds need to protect small farm operations from unnecessary burden and cost

*Market for young kids needs more flexibility in ID and reporting options, concerns for haulers

*ID for Scrapie Eradication program already in place

*Cost of program versus value per head economic viability for producers needs to be preserved

*Tag retention due to thinness of ear, nature of browsing habits, curiosity of goats, infections, not viable for many, including one breed with very tiny ears that will not allow traditional ear tag usage

*Need practical reporting processes

*Need for national ID program questioned

Goat Working Group Recommendations

*Continue with current approved ID being used for Scrapie program, and delay incorporation into NAIS Standards to allow for more data availability to identify problem areas.

*Conduct field trials to fully test ID with different breeds and managements

*Request that USDA approve site for electronic devices, with preference for distal tail area

*Provide approved devices to producers

*Allow tattoos and electronic IDs to be used for shows and other identified movements when possible

*Allow Group Lot ID when applicable


Successful Implementation

(Important considerations to remember)

*Allow flexibility with ID methods beyond phase-in period

*Continued involvement with industry representatives as plan develops

*Work with organizations to integrate with existing structures of ID

*Incorporate existing production/management information and current industry practices

*Implement reasonable record keeping/reporting requirements

*Protect producer confidentiality of records

*Initiate comprehensive educational effort that informs groups such as producers, markets and consumers

*Seek and respond to producer input on NAIS

*Adjust program to accommodate what is found to not be workable

*Allow ongoing changes to the program as new technologies emerge and improvements can be considered

At the end of the day...we hope that whatever is developed is a uniform system that meets the goals of protecting U.S. animal agriculture, while preserving the economic viability of the producers small and large; protecting their confidentiality of information; and providing an effective and accurate means of identifying our animals at the least cost and the least disruption to operations and lives.



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