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DUNS Number & Indemnity for FAD Disasters

Samantha Shields Livestock diseases, Policy Leave a Comment

African swine fever (ASF) is a foreign animal disease (FAD) that has been rapidly spreading across Asia and parts of Europe. When ASF is found on a premises, all of the animals must be culled to prevent further disease spread. If this disease is found in the United States, the federal government will offer compensation to owners of swine herds that must be culled. Although the compensation does not make up for lost business income, it covers the value of the animals taken for the purpose of disease control. Owners impacted by such takings must follow certain steps in order to be eligible for compensation. One of the first steps is acquiring a DUNS number.

DUNS stands for Data Universal Numbering System, which was introduced by Dun & Bradstreet in 1963 to bring the business world into the computer age. Dun & Bradstreet wanted to create a business identification system that linked individuals globally (Dun & Bradstreet, 2019). This unique nine-digit numbering system is available to all types of businesses, non-profits and producers around the world. A DUNS number is necessary when filing for federal compensation through the System for Award Management (SAM) (USDA, 2017). SAM is a federally owned and operated site that consolidates many federal procurement and awards processes.

Who needs a DUNS number?

A DUNS number is required for all corporations and businesses that have employer identification numbers (EIN) before seeking compensation through SAM. However, businesses filing taxes with Social Security numbers (SSN) are encouraged, but not required, to have a DUNS number (USDA, 2017).

Applying for a DUNS Number

Getting a DUNS number requires a one-time application. Updates are needed only if the producer’s information changes. Dun & Bradstreet is the only one checking the information that has been provided. However, obtaining a DUNS number may place a producer on the Dun & Bradstreet marketing list, unless the producer opts out during the application process. The application for a number that will provide access to government payments can be found online. The information required for an individual application is minimal and includes:

  1. Business or organization.
  2. Name of owner.
  3. Type of business or organization.
  4. Location.
  5. Number of employees.
  6. Year the organization was started.
  7. Personal contact information.

USDA Appraisal Process for Indemnity Payment

Before depopulating a herd during a foreign animal disease outbreak, USDA appraises the value of the animals. Compensation is allowed for:

  • The value of the animals.
  • The cost of burial, burning, and disposition of the animals.
  • The value of material destroyed.
  • Destruction expense.

The appraised value and a DUNS number are needed to apply for compensation through SAM. Registration with SAM also can be done in advance, but must be renewed annually. Getting a DUNS number now for a premises is an easy thing to do and avoids unnecessary delay.

Act Before Disaster Strikes

Although ASF is not present in the United States yet, concerns about the disease are high. If this potential disaster becomes a reality that rapidly spreads across the country, animals will be culled. Farmers without a DUNS number and SAM registration will face delays in filing for compensation afterward. Farmers who received their DUNS number before disaster strikes will be able to proceed to the next step right away.


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA APHIS). (October 2019). How to Obtain a Premises Identification Number (PIN) or Location Identifier (LID) – State Specific Information. Retrieved from:

Dun & Bradstreet. (2019). Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number. Retrieved from:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (February 2017). HPAI Response: Appraisal & Indemnity Procedures – Appendix C: DUNS and SAM [PDF File]. Retrieved from:

United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS). (n.d). Information for NRCS Program Applicants – The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). [PDF File]. Retrieved from:

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About the Author
Samantha Shields

Samantha Shields

Samantha Shields is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Vermont, studying for a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science, and a minor in Animal Science. She worked with ADBCAP Director Julie M. Smith, DVM, PhD, as an online outreach assistant intern. Samantha assisted with content development for the Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture website by evaluating, summarizing, and presenting information about protecting animal health. At the University of Vermont, she is an active member of many programs including RALLYTHON, University of Vermont Program Board, Campus Recreation, and the Women’s Club Hockey. Samantha is interested in pursuing the field of epidemiology after graduation. She has a particular interest in the research of different factors that result in diseases, as well as public health emergency planning and response.

About the Editor

Joanna Cummings

Joanna Cummings received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University, with a specialization in vegetable crop and greenhouse production. At PSU, she worked for the Professor of Plant Nutrition as a research technician on no-till vegetable crop experiments at the horticulture research facility, and as a greenhouse assistant in the All-American Selections Research Gardens. Her career in the agriculture industry includes work on dairy and vegetable farms, and as a greenhouse manager, estate gardener, landscaper and market garden entrepreneur. Joanna transitioned into the communications field after receiving a Master of Science in Environmental Studies, with a major in Communications, from Antioch University New England. At Antioch she worked as a field botany laboratory teaching assistant and manager of the herbarium. Joanna’s communications work experience includes agriculture education and outreach coordinator, marketing manager, director of communications, public information officer, webmaster, training program manager and project manager for nonprofit, government, academic and commercial organizations. She is currently working with Animal Disease Biosecurity Coordinated Agricultural Project (ADBCAP) Director Julie M. Smith, DVM, PhD, as a communications professional in the University of Vermont Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department. She is also the webmaster for the Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture website.

About the Editor

Dr. Julie Smith

Julie Smith DVM, PhD, is a research associate professor at the University of Vermont. Julie received her B.S. in Biological Sciences, D.V.M., and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition at Cornell University. Since joining the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in 2002, she has applied her veterinary background to programs in the areas of herd health, calf and heifer management, and agricultural emergency management. She is responsible for teaching the undergraduate Animal Welfare class required of majors in her department. Julie has conducted trainings for Extension educators, livestock producers, and community members on the risks posed by a range of animal diseases, whether they already exist in the United States, exist outside of the United States, or pose a risk to both animal and human health. In all cases, she emphasizes the importance of awareness and prevention. As a veterinarian and spouse of a dairy farmer, Julie is well aware of the animal health and well-being concerns of dairy animals. She is currently leading the Animal Disease Biosecurity Coordinated Agricultural Project (ADBCAP), a multi-species, multi-state project looking at the human behavioral aspects of implementing practices to protect animal health and food security.


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