Updated: 04/02/2009 - After the outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in Great Britain in 2001, discussion of an animal I.D. plan began in the United States. The goal was to have a program in place that would allow a 48 hour trace back to any geographic stops a diseased animal made as it moved through the production system and to ultimately be able to locate the farm or ranch where the animal’s journey originated. In March, Congress held hearings asking how effective the current voluntary program was working with only about a third of producers participating, and speculated as to whether or not it should be mandatory. The debate continues, as Joe Brown tells us in this week’s From The Ground Up.