NAIS National Animal Identification system-proposed for US for ALL livestock, regardless of size of farm or quantity of animals.
Please read on if you are interested in a good summary of the implications of a national animal ID system and the famer raising the animals. Also, this weekend there will be educational presentations in Northbranch MI on Fri and Davisburg on Sat (see press release for details). From Pat Whetham and Kim Lockard.
From: [log in to unmask]
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2006 8:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Important issue!! FWD: Presentations on National Animal ID System
The animal identification system proposed for the entire country is an important issue for farmers and consumers. If you produce (or hope to some day) any livestock, including just a handful of chickens for eggs, you will be expected to comply in a few years if nothing changes. the burden of complying will be such that small producers are driven out, leaving the production of meat, milk and eggs to the large scale producers who do such a poor job of it now. If you can't attend a presentation Please find the websites and add your name to the various petitions against NAIS or contact your senators and congressional representatives immediately to tell them you oppose the implementation of NAIS. Let your state reps know also.
Attached is the press release about the presentations this weekend.
In a message dated 9/13/2006 9:14:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
You are receiving this email because I'd like to make you aware of some upcoming informational presentations on NAIS (National Animal ID System).
Many feel that lack of knowledge about this program is the stong point it's supporters are counting on for implementation. It has very serious implications for all of us-- farmers & consumers alike. Attached is a press release and 2 flyiers, one for North Branch and one for the Growing Connections Festival, that I hope you will read and distribute to others.
For more info on the topic go to www.LibertyArk.net ; please consider signing their petition. I have pasted some info from the website below.
Thank you. Kim Lockard
If fully adopted and implemented, the likely outcome of NAIS is that animal ownership increasingly will be limited to large entities who can afford to comply and who are willing to accept the governmental intrusion. Yet this "feel good" program will do virtually nothing to safeguard animal health, its alleged purpose. Rather, NAIS will do all of the following:
- drive small producers and their supporting suppliers (feed stores, auction houses, etc) out of existence
- make people abandon raising animals for their own food and as pets
- invade Americans' personal privacy to a degree never before tolerated
- deprive Americans of their property rights
- violate the religious freedom of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply
- cost the American economy far more than it will deliver
So what is this program and how did it develop?
The concept of an electronic national animal identification system was started back in the early 1990s, by technology companies seeking to expand their market, and large agricultural entities seeking to protect their ability to sell their mass produced meat on the world market.
Their efforts culminated in 2002, when the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) proposed that the USDA develop a "national animal identification system" (NAIS). While NIAA may sound like a public interest organization, its membership reads like a who's who in industrial agriculture and technology, including entities such as Cargill Pork, Tyson, National Pork Producers Council, and Global Vet Link.
Notably, the NIAA developed the national animal identification system more than a year and a half before the first case of Mad Cow was found in the
Over the course of three years, USDA and NIAA worked together to develop the NAIS and inform the large-scale livestock producer community, while ignoring hundreds of thousands of people who will be affected. U.S.
The Federal Plan
After it took up the task from Industry, the USDA developed the plan through working groups, made up of representatives from government agencies, large agribusinesses, and technology companies. Notably absent from these workgroups were any significant representatives of pet owners, recreational animal owners, and small farmers and ranchers. Much of the work of these workgroups has yet to be completed, yet industry is rushing to make this program mandatory and implemented nationwide, without regard to the price to be paid by consumers and the average animal owner.
On April 25, 2005, the USDA released "Draft Program Standards" ("Standards") and a "Draft Strategic Plan" ("Plan") for the NAIS. The Standards and Plan have no authority in law. The USDA has stated that the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 is the source of its authority. (Plan at 9.) But that statute addresses only the import and export of animals, interstate travel, quarantines areas, and related programs. Two Congresses have tried, but failed to pass legislation that would amend the Act to provide for a mandatory electronic tracking system for individual head of livestock. USDA is operating without authority from Congress. Currently, there are three bills in Congress, trying to give postdated authority to this assault on our freedom. The existence of these bills proves that there is no Congressional authority for USDA to establish a mandatory animal identification system.
USDA, various state agencies, and many private companies who have vested financial interests in seeing NAIS adopted have tried to present an image of the NAIS as a sensible, practical plan to address animal disease. A review of the government's plan, however, shows quite the opposite. The current NAIS Plan provides:
- Premises registration: Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, goat, deer, elk, bison, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner's name, address, and telephone number, and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates, in a government database under a 7-digit "premises ID number." (Standards, pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p. 5.) Additionally, pet owners who own one parakeet, canary, cockatiel, etc. as owners of "exotic fowl" have been targeted for mandatory inclusion in this system. If you buy a pet bird after this system is put into effect, it probably will already have an Animal Identification Number. It will be registered to you, and you must register your premises (wherever you keep the bird). If you move the bird off your "premises" for any reason, or it dies, or it produces more birds, you must report such activity to the federal government within 24 hours. In
, there was a staff recommendation to hold off on mandatory registration of exotic fowl kept as pets, until a disease was suspected, then they will implement mandatory registration. However, that recommendation is on hold until TAHC decides what path it will take. Texas
- Animal Identification: Every animal will have to be assigned a 15-digit ID number by the government. The form of ID will most likely be a tag or microchip containing a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), designed to be read from a distance. (Plan, p. 10; Standards, pp. 6, 12, 20, 27-28.) The plan may also include collecting the DNA of every animal and/or a retinal scan of every animal. (Plan, p.13.) Despite the announcement that a federal mandatory database might be put off, USDA maintains detailed information on the structure of these 15-digit ID numbers as of mid-March 2006, ostensibly so that ID manufacturers could normalize their numbering systems. Some animals such as pigs and poultry, owned by large producers, may have a "group" identifier assigned instead of an individual number for each animal, as described below.
- While some state agencies and industry actors have pointed to the provision for "group numbers" for poultry and swine, small farmers do not manage their animals in ways that would qualify. Group or lot identification can only be used where groups of animals are managed together from birth to death and never commingled with other animals. (Standards pp.5-6.) This provision is tailored for confinement poultry operations, not pastured poultry operations. If animals do not meet the requirements for group identification, they will have to be individually identified.
- Animal Tracking: The owner will be required to report: the birthdate of an animal, the application of every animal's ID tag, every time an animal leaves or enters the property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if any animal is missing. Also, every time an animal goes onto or off of another person's premises, a report would be required, showing that the tagged animal had been on each of these other premises. Such events must be reported within 24 hours. (Standards, pp. 12-13, 17-21.)
- Third parties, such as veterinarians, will be required to report "sightings" of animals who do not have ID numbers. (Standards, p. 25.) In other words, if a farmer or rancher calls a vet to their property to treat an animal, and the vet finds any animal without the mandatory 15-digit computer-readable ID, the vet may be required to report that non-compliance.
- There are no exceptions; under the USDA plan; livestock owners will be forced to register and report even if they raise animals only for their own food or keep horses for draft or for transportation.
- The USDA will exercise "enforcement" against livestock farmers who don't comply. (Standards, p. 7; Plan, p. 17.) As an example of what can be expected, the proposed
regulations for mandatory premises registration provide for fines of up to $1,000 per day and criminal penalties. Texas
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