Speak Out Against NAIS

I copy and pasted this from Maggie Mae Farm.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working diligently to force a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) onto American animal owners. NAIS is designed to identify, supposedly for disease prevention. The tracking systems will require every individual livestock and poultry animal owned by family farmers, hobby farmers, homesteaders, and pet owners across the country to be registered and tagged by radio frequency microchips.

Why oppose NAIS?

* No significant benefits: USDA’s assertions that NAIS will provide benefits for animal health are not supported, and actually contradict basic scientific principles.

* High costs for animal owners and taxpayers: the development, maintenance, and update of massive databases; the costs of tags, most of which will contain microchips; the labor burdens for tagging every animal; the paperwork burdens of reporting routine movements; and the costs of enforcement on millions of individuals.

* Impracticality: The databases to register the properties, identify each animal, and record billions of “events” will dwarf any system currently in existence.

* Waste of money: The USDA has already spent over $130 million on NAIS implementation, but has yet to develop a workable plan for the program.

* Diverts resources from more critical needs such as disease testing, disease prevention through improved animal husbandry practices, and disease detection in currently uninspected livestock imports.

* Damage to food safety efforts: NAIS will not prevent food-borne illnesses, such as e. coli or salmonella contamination, because the tracking ends at the time of slaughter. Food safety is better served by focusing on programs such as increased testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow), improved oversight of slaughterhouses and food processing facilities, and increased inspections of imported foods. Programs such as NAIS that burden small, sustainable farmers will hurt efforts to develop safer, decentralized local food systems.

* Discourages involvement in farming or animal husbandry: Because of costs and government intrusion, some people will choose not to stay in farming or go into farming. This will result in less competition,greater reliance in foreign imports and poor quality at higher prices.

Take a minute to speak out! The Organic Consumers Association has provided an easy way to register your complaint! Click here to fill in the form. The deadline to submit comments to the USDA is March 16th.

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