Premises registration paid off during livestock relief efforts in the aftermath of the recent Plains blizzards, says Colorado's Department of Ag. Telephone calls directly to ranchers in southeast Colorado, made possible by premises registration info of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), helped evaluate the safety of those ranchers' families and the well being of Colorado livestock during the blizzard recovery operation.

Those with registered premises were called early on by state animal health officials. The phone calls helped locate animals and find out if they have had access to feed.

"Starvation and dehydration are certainly animal health concerns and we are pleased that we could utilize the system in this emergency situation," said Colorado State Veterinarian John Maulsby.

Added Colorado Division of Emergency Management Director, George Epp: "Having direct access to livestock owners gave us the opportunity to quickly assess the situation. Protecting the health of Colorado livestock is a top priority to this operation and NAIS was a big help."

Aerial surveillance crews continue to search for additional herds. Meanwhile, the Colorado and Wyoming National Guard continue with hay drops to stranded livestock. More than 70 tons of hay had been delivered by helicopters and a C-130 military transport plane by last weekend.
-- Joe Roybal