In WFAN's recent Women's Farm Bill listening sessions and Farm Bill internet
> survey, Animal ID was an issue that generated much discussion. Participants
> fell on both sides of this issue. Please find below an action alert for
> those who oppose Animal ID. Links at the end of the article, including
> USDA's Animal ID website, can help you learn more about the topic. Thanks!
> Stop the USDA's Animal ID Program!
> April 1, 2006 :: Berkeley Farmers' Markets
> By Linda Graham,
> Berkeley Farmers' Markets Program Manager
> Your rights to affordable foods direct from local farmers
> are about to be chipped away. The USDA is quietly
> using the US PATRIOT Act to rush in new legislation,
> called NAIS (National Animal Identification System),
> that will require ALL owners of horses, chickens, cows,
> pigeons, goats, pigs, sheep, and other livestock to
> register every animal with the federal government, and
> to tag each animal with a 15-digit barcode or electronic
> implant for tracking in a national database. Anyone
> with even an egg hen in their backyard will be required
> to tag the animal, file paperwork, and pay registration
> fees in order to avoid fines. Animal owners will also be
> subject to government inspection on their own property.
> Large factory farms lobbied for this new system in
> order to sell to international markets, which had
> previously banned US beef. However, NAIS will hurt
> small farmers, homesteaders, animal owners, and
> consumers of local foods. It will cause a huge financial
> burden in fees, fines, tags, and equipment and will cost
> time for paperwork and tracking of every baby chick or
> piglet. These new costs will most impact small farmers,
> and will be passed on to consumers of local sustainably
> raised foods. NAIS makes it more difficult for people
> to grow food and sell directly to consumers.
> The requirement for US citizens to register their own
> property for federal tracking seriously impedes on our
> freedom to privacy and other rights. It inhibits the
> human right to farm and grow food, a basic tenet of
> food security. If this type of system were applied to
> seeds, one would be forced to register with the government
> to grow a backyard garden. There are no
> exceptions to the NAIS. Every livestock animal owner
> will be required to register. The wording describes each
> animal as part of "the national herd," rather than
> private property.
> NAIS is already mandatory in Texas and Wisconsin,
> and the USDA plans to make registration and tracking
> mandatory for all animal owners in the US by 2008.
> This outrageous system must be stopped in support of
> small local family farming.
> WHAT YOU CAN DO: Talk to your friends. Write to
> your congress people and representatives. Write to the
> governor. Start a petition or postcard campaign. Write
> letters to the editor of publications that you read. Make
> buttons and bumper stickers. Organize a group. This
> system is being rushed so quickly that very few groups
> have formed to oppose it so far.
> In July of 2006, the USDA will
> issue its specific requirements
> for registration, tagging, and
> tracking. There will be a
> limited public comment
> period following this
> announcement, and it is
> crucial that folks speak up
> during this time. Objections
> may persuade the USDA to
> modify or abandon some
> FOR MORE INFO:
> Send action alerts and news to [log in to unmask]
> Cassi Johnson
> Development and Outreach Director
> Women, Food, and Agriculture Network
> 2105 Miami Dr
> Iowa City, IA 52240
> W: 319-354-3760 C: 515-865-5142
> [log in to unmask]
> Women, Food, and Agriculture Network links and empowers women to build food
> systems and communities that are healthy, just, sustainable, and that
> promote environmental integrity.
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> women's voices on issues of food systems, sustainable communities, and
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