Pennsylvania's Animal Health Database System Offered Nationally

USAHERDS Launched through Multi-State Partnership

Oct 20, 2006, 01:00 ET from PA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's award-winning
 animal health database system has become a national model for use by other
 states, the Department of Agriculture said today.
     Launched this week at the U.S. Animal Health Association annual meeting
 in Minneapolis, the U.S. Animal Health Emergency Response and Diagnostic
 System (USAHERDS) is the national version of PAHERDS, Pennsylvania's
 innovative program to protect millions of livestock and poultry flocks from
 the outbreak of disease.
     Indiana and Kentucky were the first to adopt the technology and entered
 into a new partnership with Pennsylvania to work together to better protect
 the health of animals and consumers.
     "Once again, Pennsylvania's cutting-edge technology is helping the
 nation," Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said. "Through USAHERDS, other
 states can monitor and contain animal diseases quickly and effectively,
 protecting our food supply and local economies across the nation."
     Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky formed a multi-state partnership
 called the Animal Health Information Management Consortium (AHIMC) to set a
 new standard for monitoring animal health incidents, investigations,
 licenses and regulatory events in the U.S. Participants include the
 Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, the Indiana
 State Board of Animal Health, the Kentucky Division of Animal Health, and
 the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center. Dr. Paul
 Knepley, Pennsylvania's state veterinarian, will chair the AHIMC committee.
     USAHERDS is a computerized data program available to state departments
 of agriculture, which helps to prevent, detect, contain and eradicate
 outbreaks of dangerous diseases among animals. Key features of the system
 includes premises identification, animal testing and inventory, program
 disease management, import and export management, licensing, and emergency
 response management. Consortium members are using the systems for emergency
 planning, daily operations and mapping.
     USAHERDS will also generate cost-savings for participating states by
 streamlining business processes. Pennsylvania's system reduced annual costs
 to taxpayers by more than $75,000.
     Earlier this year, PAHERDS received the American Council for
 Technology's 2006 Intergovernmental Solutions Award.
     For more information on USAHERDS, contact Sean Crager at 717-705-8897
     CONTACT: Stephanie Meyers
     (717) 787-5085