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:
- Business or organization.
- Name of owner.
- Type of business or organization.
- Number of employees.
- Year the organization was started.
- 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: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/traceability/state-pin/
Dun & Bradstreet. (2019). Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number. Retrieved from: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number.html
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (February 2017). HPAI Response: Appraisal & Indemnity Procedures – Appendix C: DUNS and SAM [PDF File]. Retrieved from: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/emergency_management/downloads/hpai/7-aiappendixc-dunssamreg.pdf
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: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1358022&ext=pdf
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