Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that states will take the lead in developing a new system to track disease in livestock, replacing plans for a nationwide animal identification system that the U.S. Department of Agriculture scrapped in February.

According to the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, Vilsack said that the USDA will cooperate with state agencies under the new system to trace the origins of animal disease outbreaks, but the federal department will not store information about animal movement.

Advertisement

“We’re not going to aggregate all this information and turn it over to some other government entity or agency. The information needs to stay with the states,” he said to a meeting of the National Farmers Union in Rapid City.

Kenny Fox, president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, said his organization supported a state-based tracing system, but remained concerned about animal diseases coming in with livestock from Canada and Mexico.