The Equine Species Working Group, the designated United States Department of Agriculture working group for horses on the issue of the National Animal Identification System, is soliciting proposals in the area of equine identification related to equine health and disease control. It is the working group's responsibility to review and evaluate the NAIS and the possible participation of the horse industry in the program, as well as develop recommendations for a national equine identification plan that is in the best interests of, and protects the rights of, horse owners and breeders. The ESWG is interested in projects that implement equine identification and/or tracking of equine movements in animal health and disease prevention or control programs. This work should focus on the use of existing technologies in field situations and relate to equine health and disease.Projects must reflect advancement of NAIS by integrating the use of established standards (PIN, AIN, etc.) with the management of equine disease activities in some sector(s) of the equine industry. Utilization of identification methods that incorporate the recommendations of the Equine Species Working Group are strongly encouraged. Projects involving the collection of animal movement records need to align with a private or state animal tracking database that is working cooperatively with NAIS. The project(s) recommended for funding should support implementation of NAIS and provide ongoing growth for the establishment of NAIS in the equine industry. The project(s) should demonstrate the value of animal identification relative to managing health of horses and must have a specific animal health/disease control component.Proposals should be submitted to the ESWG by July 1, 2006. Review will be conducted by a panel of ESWG members and ad hoc reviewers as needed with prioritized recommendations for funding made to the United States Department of Agriculture by Aug. 1, 2006. The funding agency will be the USDA and funding will be available through research contracts, cooperative agreements, work orders, or interagency agreements administered through the USDA by September 30, 2006.The total amount of funding available may be up to $250,000. Applicants may apply for all or part of the funds; projects will be selected based upon scientific merit, likelihood of success in achieving described objectives, and potential for advancing NAIS in the equine industries. Multi-year proposals (up to two years) will be considered, but preliminary results must be shared with the industry annually and progress reports submitted to USDA quarterly.Applications will be considered from state animal health agencies, colleges or universities, and tribal governments. Principle Investigators must hold appropriate rank with their agency or institution to ensure responsibility for completion of successfully funded projects. Salaries for faculty, staff officers, research associates, residents, interns, etc. will be considered, but these salaries should be limited to actual time spent on the project. Indirect costs will be considered, but limited according to USDA policy: generally not more than 10% of direct costs. The application can be found on the American Horse Council Web siteThe chair of the Review Panel is Dr. Jim Morehead. Please submit the original and six copies of your proposal in the required format to:Dr. Jim Morehead
996 Nandino Blvd.
Lexington, KY 40511
859-255-9233 phone / 859-255-3116 fax