R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America Fighting for the U.S. Cattle Producer Producers Request APHIS/Congress Retract Unlawful Memo Mandating Participation Washington, D.C. In a formal letter issued Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, R-CALF USA has requested that the U.S. Department of Agricultures (USDAs) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) immediate retract Memorandum No. 575.19 issued on Sept. 22, 2008, on the grounds that the memo constitutes an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. Also receiving the formal letter were Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, as well as the ranking members of each committee. Additionally, animal health officials in each state received a copy of R-CALF USA s correspondence. The effect of this memo is that premises registration under NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is now mandatory for producers engaged in interstate commerce and who participate in any one of the dozen or more regulated disease programs, despite APHIS express promise to the industry and to Congress that NAIS would remain a voluntary system, said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the groups animal health committee. This memo declares that the Premises Identification Number (PIN) established under the agencys NAIS is to be the sole and standard location identifier for all VS program activities, and that premises will be registered in the NAIS. This agency action by APHIS is unlawful, Thornsberry emphasized. We request immediate retraction of this memo, and we additionally request that APHIS be directed to immediately inform each state animal health official that the agency no longer is requiring the registration of premises as a condition of producer participation in regulated animal disease programs, or for any other purpose. Note: To view/download R-CALF USA s letter or the APHIS-VS memorandum, please visit the Animal Identification link at www.r-calfusa. com, or contact R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson to request a copy. R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America ) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketin! g issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa. com or, call 406-252-2516. EDIT to remove incorrect title, and names address and phone numbers per rules of BYC Folks lets be very carful in posting inflamatory press releases from bias producer groups. Check the facts! Thanks.