Posted by Dave on December 8, 2011
If you thought NAIS (the National Animal Identification System) was dead, think again!
Sure the old NAIS program died a proper death in February 2010 after thousands of farmers and ranchers raised their voices to help stop it, but now the Obama administration is back at it, attempting to sneak a scaled-down version onto farms across the U.S. through a new backdoor regulation.
The USDA's new proposed Animal ID rules will act like a driver's license for your backyard chicken or an ID card for a cow in Western Iowa crossing the border into Eastern Nebraska. Each ID of course comes with a government mandated fee, as usual family farmers pay more than factory farmers. What's up with that?
DEADLINE: Comments due COB Dec. 9th.
If Obama gets away with it, this new Animal Identification rule will act like a tax on every livestock animal that crosses state lines - something that happens THOUSANDS a times a day in the United States!
Like last time, during the NAIS battles, the group ID is still being proposed for factory farms, which saves agribusiness giants lots of money, while family farmers and those who raise a few animals, like backyard chickens, will face the expense and burden of individually tagging their animals if they cross state lines.
According to the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF), Obama's new "Mandatory 'Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate' is a thinly veiled scheme to force U.S. livestock producers to provide economically valuable, source-verification information to beef packers" for free.
Once again, the USDA’s proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem. The USDA has fundamentally failed to identify the specific problem or disease of concern and the real intent of the program is to build the export market for the benefit of a handful of giant corporations while America's family farms are forced to pay high fees.
Don’t let the USDA get away with sneaking a new Animal Identification program that would disproportionally harm family farm operations, while once again letting giant factory farms off the hook.
The newly proposed USDA rule will force any livestock that travel across state lines to require government identification.
As usual USDA has also failed to account for the full cost to both private individuals and state governments, creating what will amount to another unfunded mandate. At the same time, the new rule will also harm rural businesses, while wasting taxpayer dollars that could be better spent on the real problems we face in controlling animal disease, food security, and food safety.
Family farmers and ranchers cannot afford additional paperwork and unnecessary expenses to please the industrial agribusiness lobby. Please join our friends at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance in standing up for family farms and backyard livestock growers today.
Thanks for being a part of the solution and participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! Team
1. “USDA Proposes Animal ID Rule”, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance,
2. “USDA’s Mandatory Animal Identification Plan “Is a Packer’s Dream, a Beef Packer’s Dream,” Says R-CALF USA’s Animal ID Committee Chair”, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, September 8, 2011
3. "Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate", Document ID: APHIS-2009-0091-0001 Document Type: Proposed Rule, Regulations.gov
4. “National Animal Identification System” Wikipedia,
5. “Wendell Berry on NAIS”, Family Farm Coalition, May 22, 2009