USDA to begin farm animal testing, inspect farms in rural states
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed that it will begin conducting animal testing of all farms across the country beginning January 1, 2018.
The announcement came in a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the agency.
The USDA said it will conduct animal testing at its four-site inspection facility in West Virginia, Kansas, Minnesota and Arkansas.
The statement says the test will be conducted on “all U.S. farms that are owned by the Department and have at least 50% of their animals in the USDA-accredited USDA-certified herd-based program and at least two dozen U.s. farm animals currently being used for the program.”
In other words, all farms in the United States that are currently in the herd-level program, or that are at least 150% USDA-approved, will be required to undergo the testing.
According to the USDA, it will also conduct the test on farm animals at facilities operated by other federal agencies, including the Animal Welfare Institute, the National Wildlife Federation, the U.N. Wildlife Service, the Department for Conservation and Food Security and the Department in Charge of Animal Health and Animal Welfare.
The U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also will conduct tests, the USDA said.
In a statement, USDA Director Tom Vilsack said the tests would be conducted by the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory (NALHL), which has been accredited to conduct animal health tests since 1999.
The tests will begin in 2019 and will last for three to five years, the statement said.
The federal government has not publicly released the criteria for how it determines whether an animal is in need of testing.
It will determine if a farm is “insufficiently protected from the potential spread of diseases and pests and poses a significant threat to human health and the environment.”
The USDA’s announcement came just days after the USDA announced that it would begin testing of farm animals on farms owned by individual states, including those in Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The agency said that the first tests will be performed on two types of cattle, and that it is also considering testing other types of animals.
The Department of Homeland Security also said that it plans to begin testing farms owned and operated by states.
It is unclear whether the tests will include livestock from U.k. and international herds.
However, the NALHL said that a number of U.z. and Canadian farms currently in herd-type testing, including dairy farms, have already been identified.
Agency spokesperson John Ruggiero said that some of the animals being tested will be from Canadian herds.
In addition, the agency said it has begun testing farm animals from Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, which are currently the only countries in the world that do not have an official program of herd-controlled livestock.
A spokesman for USDA said the agency would work with states to determine whether to require the testing of animal-source livestock.