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CDA encourages public comment on Animal Disease Traceability System

There is still time for the public to comment on a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The rule is a vital step in protecting animal health, the food system and consumers.

“The Colorado Department of Agriculture endorses the proposed rule; we believe it will work in unison with programs we already have in place to protect Colorado’s food system and livestock in the event of a disease outbreak,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr.

“There has been some confusion over the role of livestock branding in relation to the proposed system; CDA’s Brands division plays a fundamental role in verifying livestock ownership in Colorado and all brand states and this will not change under the proposed rule,” said Brand Commissioner Rick Wahlert.

“While a brand is not defined as official identification in the proposed rule, there are provisions that enable states to use a brand to move cattle interstate.”

USDA supports the use of brands to identify cattle moving interstate. Further, USDA recognizes the value of brands and their prevalence in the western United States. The approach in the proposed regulation will provide flexibility for states and tribes to use brands for complying with the proposed requirements for interstate movement.

The framework of the proposed rule:

• Only applies to animals moved interstate;

• Will be administered by the states and tribal nations to provide more flexibility;

• Encourages the use of low-cost technology; and

• Will be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.

Animal disease traceability, or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they’ve been, and when, is very important to make sure there can be a rapid response when animal disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government.

Master Gardener applications

Staff at the Colorado State University Extension Office in Archuleta County is excited to announce we are excepting applications for the 2012 Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) program, until Dec. 30, 2011.

Students will receive training in tree care, vegetables, soils, native plants, water wise gardening, pruning and much more. The training utilizes on-site and distant education experts to teach a series of eleven classes.

Classes start Jan.26 and will take place at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds every Thursday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost is $240 if you intend to volunteer, $575 for a certificate without volunteer time.

CMG volunteers are expected to complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year and 24 hours in subsequent years.

Contact the Colorado State University Extension office in Pagosa Springs at 264-5931 for more information or an application.

Calendar

Sept. 25 — Pagosa Fun Day Rodeo Awards, 4 p.m.

Sept. 28 — 4-H Achievement Night, 6 p.m.

Check out our webpage at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.

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