The U.S. confirmed its fourth case of BSE in April, this one in a central California dairy cow. While the announcement sent shockwaves through the industry, the media coverage was fairly balanced and factual. Government agencies, animal health experts and industry organizations effectively made the case that the surveillance system for BSE worked and that consumers were never endangered. The result is that any damage to foreign and domestic demand has been minimal thus far.
You can check out BEEF magazine’s coverage on the issue here. 
Still, the California BSE case has has spurred a great deal of conversation about beef quality and traceability. Among that is a renewed call in some quarters for the U.S. to implement a system of individual animal identification and traceback.
We’re curious about your thoughts on an individual animal identification system to improve our traceability within the U.S. cowherd and grow our beef export opportunities by better meeting the demands of our foreign customers.
Thus, our latest weekly online poll at beefmagazine.com asks, “Does the latest BSE case underscore the need for individual animal ID in the U.S.? Click here to cast your vote. 
With more than 100 votes to date, 53% of you say, “No, the system worked.” Another 45% of you say, “Yes, we need this for traceability and marketing purposes.” The final 2% aren’t sure.
So, what are your thoughts on this issue? Do we need an individual animal identification system? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
And, don’t forget to send your best ground beef recipes and photos to me at [email protected]  by Saturday, May 12 to be eligible to win $125 boot gift certificate from Roper Apparel.