Monday, May 3, 2010

The Revised Animal "Identification" System

For those of you who followed my old blog, you may remember a post that I wrote on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). I thought it would be appropriate to give you an update on what is going on at the Federal level.  

On February 5, 2010 the USDA issued a statement that they had decided to "drop" the NAIS and modify it due to criticism from farmers, homesteaders, and others. It is now being called Animal Disease Traceability and it will only apply to animals being transported across state lines. Each state will have administer their own system and regulate it. It will not apply to homesteaders who are raising meat for their own consumption, nor will it apply to farmers selling to markets within their own state. 

For now. 

While this is a victory of sorts, I'm still a bit leery as to how long this will remain limited to interstate transportation of livestock and meats. The fourth item on the changes reads that it will:

"Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process."

Hmmm... I think I've heard that phrase before.

Forgive me. I'm a bit skeptical. But I'm also pleased that so many voices of opposition were actually heard and progress was made. By remaining vocal, we can hold our government accountable to enact what we desire as a nation, rather than a few bureaucrats or rouge officials, seeking control, decide is best for the people. (I know that's not very gracious of me, but I do believe in the fallen, sinful nature. Power can corrupt). 

Some of you may be taking a deep sigh of relief over the fact that homesteads are not affected. Others will feel this is still an invasion of privacy because you are staunchly against this on any level. Each person needs to make their own decision and act accordingly. For me, I'm glad to see some of this handed off to individual states rather than the Federal government, but it is a compromise with little victory and I'm fairly certain it will be short lived.

To read the fact sheet on the "new" Animal Disease Traceability, click HERE and then go to the link second from the bottom which will download an easy to read pdf file.

Groups that are tracking this information that might be of help include:

Farm And Ranch Freedom
Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund

I've also included my article from last year for you to read should you like to do so. 
Protect your rights. Stay informed!

NAIS: National Animal Identification System

May 22, 2009
Updated and Edited 5/2/10

Ever hear of this before? The National Animal Identification System (NAIS)? Seems like the government wants to know who's raising animals and how many. For tracking diseases and such, of course. 

I don't think I'm a conspiracy theorist when it comes to our government (other than Satan and his evil schemes), but I do believe human nature is such that some individuals truly seek power to control. Others really think they have a good idea, but don't realize what the consequences will be as a result. In other words, they just don't think things through all the way. 

This being said, the NAIS is a really bad idea that once again seeks to encroach upon the freedoms and rights of American citizens. It is another example of money wasted on "committees" and not on action. Why not just spend the same amount of dollars on inspections and at the border when allowing animals to be shipped across international lines?

The main reason I am opposed to this tracking system (and that is exactly what it is, a TRACKING system), is because our basic rights are being eroded away at an alarming pace and I believe that at some point, a natural, economic, or man-made disaster will have the government calling on those who have registered animals to surrender them to be slaughtered or destroyed "for the the greater good". (Same with guns, etc.). Another concern is the cost. It will put a heavy financial burden on small farmers who struggle to compete with the big corporate farming industry. 

If some pandemic starts spreading through our livestock, I want to look at the entire situation and make a decision based on all the facts including where my animals are in proximity to the disease, how my animals are managed, and how they interact with other animals. I don't want legislative bureaucrats who don't have a clue about farming practices making decisions with a broad sweeping hand when it isn't really necessary in most situations.

Having served on a school board before, I realize that when you make decisions for a large group of people, you are often required to make "blanket decisions" because monitoring or managing each situation, case by case, can be cumbersome and ominous. Therefore, the wisest course of action would be to respect people enough to let them manage their own lives and address only those that refuse to take responsibility and are a harm or threat to others. Typically, this is a small group. 

Think about it. Most farmers or ranchers who go through all the work to raise animals are doing so for their own health benefit as well as others. Why would they be so foolish in their animal husbandry practices? Even if they were, wouldn't they be the first to suffer? 

Of course I'm not talking about the mega-farmers and -ranchers and those that supply them. Too often they don't even eat their own product. A National Animal Identification System wouldn't hurt them, but rather it would probably be a great benefit. It would cull out some of the smaller, high quality competition.

Oh, I know I have probably just scratched the surface here, but I believe this is something that each homesteaders needs to research for themselves. Visit the USDA site and read up on it, and then go to NoNAIS.org to get a balanced idea of what's going on. It seems very benign and patriotic until you start thinking of the different scenarios that could happen and their consequences. Don't be fooled. Currently this is a voluntary program, but we've all seen how the Obama administration has a way of making things mandatory.


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