Iowa’s top agriculture official is disappointed — and sounding angry — over missing a chance at federal money for a swine-industry health initiative. Ag secretary Patty Judge says the state put together an application for the USDA grant together with seven other states, hoping to set up a program that tracks the feedlots where sick hogs are found. The combined states produce over 60-percent of the hogs in the US, and Judge says she and ag officials in the seven other states thought it’d be a good identification process for animals if there’s a disease outbreak or terrorist event. On Thursday, Judge learned Iowa’s application was turned down. Judge says she’s “very, very disappointed” because if there’s going to be a system of tracking hogs but it disregards 60-percent of the hogs in the US, “you haven’t got a very complete inventory.” Money totaling more than $11.5 Million was allocated to a total of 29 states and Indian tribes. Judge says we need to do a better job of quickly tracing where an animal’s been and what other animals it’s been in contact with in case there’s an outbreak of disease. Judge says with beef, concerns over BSE or Mad Cow Disease have led to methods for identifying individual animals. But pigs have much shorter lives, and there are more of them. Judge says the National Pork Producers Association agreed with a plan created by ISU extension swine specialist Jim McKean for identifying groups of animals by lot, or by “premise,” the place where they were housed. Judge says there “may be some little tag pieces” in various individual states for identifying swine, but there will be no comprehensive plan for their identification. She says without discounting the cattle industry, the next disease to pose a major concern could well be a swine disease, “and then we’ll be back to square one.” Judge says in last December’s single case of Mad Cow, it took many days to trace the animal back to a herd in Canada. Judge says today we have technology that could identify that cow, and if we could get information into a database and available to health officials, we should be able to trace an animal’s origins and movements “with a snap of a finger.” Iowa proposed to be part of the research into a National Animal Identification System and Judge says it’s just not logical to “leave Iowa out of the equation.”