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> [Original Message]
> From: HT Network <[log in to unmask]>
> To: Healthy Traditions Network <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 6/10/2006 2:01:49 PM
> Subject: Fw: INFORMATION ALERT: NAIS UPDATE FOR SMALL FARMERS
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bill Sanda: Weston A. Price Foundation" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2006 8:01 AM
> Subject: INFORMATION ALERT: NAIS UPDATE FOR SMALL FARMERS
> WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
> INFORMATION ALERT
> June 9, 2006
> NEW NAIS GUIDANCE FOR SMALL-SCALE FARMERS AND RANCHERS
> On June, 2006, the USDA released a new guidance for small-scale and
> non-commercial farmers and ranchers
> For the first time, the USDA officially states that the focus of the
> National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is animal health, primarily
> within the commercial animal production sector in which animals move from
> their birthplace to a subsequent location(s) over the animal's life
> USDA claims that its NAIS efforts will therefore largely focus on
> operations and animals at such locations because of their higher risk of
> spreading diseases among multiple locations and for greater distances,
> small-scale farmers and non-commercial producers. But this provides
> reassurance because the USDA's definition of "non commercial" is
> narrow, as discussed below.
> The NAIS participation guidelines for small, non-commercial producers is
> based on how you manage (move, market, etc.) animals and the associated
> of disease exposure and spread. Again, the NAIS covers only cattle and
> bison, cervids (e.g., deer and elk); goats; horses; camelids (e.g.,
> and alpacas); poultry; sheep; and hogs.
> Definition of Non-Commercial Producer for NAIS:
> 1. Individuals whose animals are not moved to auction barns or from their
> location to those of commercial producers; and/or
> 2. Individuals whose animal movements are limited to those moved directly
> custom slaughter; movement within a single producer's premises; local
> and local 4-H events.
> Although the USDA includes this description of non-commercial producers
> being people who do not take their animals to auction barns, they do not
> create an actual exemption for anything other than born on property and
> never leaves the property except for slaughter. Even if everything they
> in this document is true, people who buy a calf from their neighbors or a
> few baby chicks from the local feed store would have to identify and
> Guidance for Non-Commercial Producers Premises Registration:
> USDA encourages, but does not require, all livestock and poultry owners
> register their premises with the animal health authority in their State,
> regardless of the size of their operations or the number of animals
> at the facility. Voluntary registration of premises does not obligate
> producers to identify their animals or to report the premises-to-premises
> movement of their animals.
> The USDA's repeated admonition in this document that premises
> is voluntary is not consistent with its other documents nor with what is
> actually happening. The USDA's prior documents - which it has not
> disclaimed - state that it expects 100% participation by January 2009, or
> will consider regulations. In other words, USDA's program is only
> temporarily. And, even now, USDA is providing grants to several states
> implement NAIS. Some states, such as Wisconsin and Indiana, are already
> mandating premises registrations., while others have proposed doing so.
> USDA's avoidance of "mandatory" regulations does not mean that NAIS is
> voluntary as that word is commonly understood.
> Animal Identification and Reporting Animal Movements:
> Scenarios that would not call for animals to be identified and/or
> reported in the NAIS include:
> animals that never leave the farm/location of birth;
> animals moved from their birth premises directly to custom slaughter for
> personal use of the animal's owner;
> livestock moved from pasture-to-pasture within one's operation;
> participation in local fairs and parade,
> the local trading of birds among private individuals; and
> animals that "get out" and cross over into the neighbor's land.
> Animals used for recreational purposes do not need to be identified if
> are permanently cared for at their birth premises. Taking your animal on
> trail ride with a neighbor would not be a reportable movement.
> Also, household pets (e.g., parakeets, cats and dogs) are not reportable
> the NAIS.
> These "scenarios" are an interesting mix. Moving animals from
> pasture-to-pasture on one's own property was clearly not a reportable
> under the Draft Plan, since it did not involve leaving the "premises."
> same logic applies to animals that never leave the premises on which they
> were born. But what do these two scenarios really mean? How many people
> have animals that are born on their property, never leave their property,
> and die on their property? Even the exclusion for custom slaughter is,
> practice, almost meaningless. How many people have their own breeding
> or flocks, but raise animals only for their own personal consumption?
> Almost anyone who has enough land and resources to support breeding
> also sells at least some of their offspring for one reason or another.
> The USDA even contradicts itself in its attempts to discuss these
> scenarios. In this document, USDA states, "Reportable movements are
> that involve a high risk of spreading disease, such as moving livestock
> a farm to an event where a large numbers of animals are brought together
> from many sources." Anyone who has ever been to a local fair or parade
> knows that they fall within this description. And the USDA's current Q&A
> their website includes the following:
> "Q. If a Person Only Shows Animals or Only Takes Them to Trail Rides, Do
> They Need to be Identified?
> A. When people show or commingle their animals with animals from multiple
> premises, the possibility of spreading disease becomes a factor. Those
> animals will need to be identified."
> So participation in local fairs and parades will have to be reported.
> Will NAIS require that all livestock animals be microchipped?
> USDA's official answer is "No." The notion that USDA will require all
> animals - ranging from livestock to chicks - to have microchips is false,
> according to this document. With regard to the question of how an animal
> could be identified (i.e., ear tag, tattoo, microchip, leg-banding), USDA
> declares its neutrality. The USDA claims that such questions should not
> answered for producers; instead, such questions would best be resolved by
> producers themselves.
> While it is accurate that USDA has not proposed microchipping birds,
> claim to neutrality is nonsense. They have already included, in the
> Program Standards, that RFIDs are the preferred/default ID for cattle.
> Michigan Department of Agriculture, using funding from USDA, has just
> announced that all cattle will have to have RFID tags by March 2007 - no
> other form of ID will be acceptable in the TB zones. And the Equine
> Working Group has also specified RFID chips. NAIS is not technology
> Will NAIS require that all animals to be tagged individually?
> No. USDA states that tagging each and every animal individually would be
> unrealistic and impractical. Group/lot ID is an option for both large-
> small-scale producers, depending on the circumstances, such as animals
> move as a group through the production chain (e.g., groups of pigs or
> chickens). If a producer chooses to participate in the animal
> system for a group of animals and utilizes the group/lot identification
> method and later removes an animal from the group, that animal should
> be identified individually. However, this would be the case with animals
> from any size farming operation, large or small.
> In this section, USDA has again made a technically correct statement that
> does not tell the whole story. The definition of group ID makes it
> only for confinement operations. USDA's Draft Program standards stated
> group identification can only be used where groups of animals are managed
> together from birth to death and not commingled with other animals". Few
> small farms manage their animals in completely isolated, single-age
> What about individuals' religious freedoms?
> The USDA claims to be sensitive to individuals' religious beliefs. We are
> respectful of these beliefs and are committed to ensuring that workable
> options are available to religious communities.
> Send Your Comments Regarding USDA's NAIS Program.
> Comprehensive recommendations for identifying animals and reporting
> movements are in development in cooperation with the species-specific
> working groups and State-Federal animal health authorities.
> We encourage you to make suggestions about NAIS by contacting the working
> group(s) for the species of animal(s) you raise. The working group
> information is on the left side of the NAIS Web page
> under "Browse by Audience" click the "Select a Working Group" dropdown
> button. Stakeholders can also submit comments to a particular working
> via e-mail at [log in to unmask] Please include the species
> name and the term "working group" in the subject line of your e-mail.
> Although USDA is trying to direct comments to the working groups, it is
> important that you also let your elected representatives know what you
> about NAIS. We encourage you to copy your representative and senators on
> all correspondence that you send to the agency and working groups. To
> the names, mailing address, e-mail address or fax of your Senators and
> Representative, please link to
> Bill Sanda
> Executive Director
> Weston A. Price Foundation
> [log in to unmask]
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