October 31, 2007
PREMISES ID REQUIREMENT ADOPTED FOR ILLINOIS FAIRS
New rule applies to all livestock exhibitors and takes effect next year
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A premises identification number will be required to
exhibit livestock at state, county, 4-H and FFA fairs beginning in 2008, the
Illinois Department of Agriculture announced today.
Premises registration is the first step toward the establishment of a
National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and will greatly improve the ability of
Illinois animal health professionals to contain disease outbreaks.
“Knowing the location of each and every livestock operation in the state
would enable us to quickly trace the movement of infected animals, impose
quarantines and, perhaps, prevent the disease from spreading to neighboring farms if an outbreak were to occur,”
Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said. “The
information is absolutely critical to our disease-fighting capabilities,
especially at events like fairs where large numbers of animals are confined for short periods of time and then moved.
This is one, reasonable step we can take to protect not only the health of livestock, but also the livelihood of the entire
Nearly 9,000 Illinois livestock operations already have enrolled in the NAIS,
30 percent of the state’s premises.
“That figure exceeds the USDA’s 2007 target of 25 percent, but full
participation will be needed if the system is to achieve its goal of identifying all
animals and premises that have been exposed to a disease within 48 hours of its
discovery,” Dr. Colleen O’Keefe, division manager of Food Safety and Animal
Registration is free and easy. The entire process, which consists of a short
questionnaire that asks for a facility’s name, address, phone number and the
types of livestock it raises, takes about ten minutes to complete. The
application form is posted on the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website at
premises ID number immediately. The application also can be completed and
returned by mail, but may take four weeks to process. To obtain a copy of the form, producers should call 1-866-299-9256.
Because the identification number corresponds to the location where an animal
is raised, it does not necessarily have to be issued in the exhibitor’s
name. The number must be obtained and included on entry forms, however, before fairs will allow an animal to compete.
The premises ID requirement also applies to horses. Owners of horses stabled
in Illinois and planning to race or exhibit at either a state or county fair
can register online just like Illinois livestock producers can. Owners of
out-of-state horses must obtain a premises ID number through their state’s
agriculture department, whose contact information can be found online at