Efforts to Halt the National Animal Identification System "to Court"

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by wilds of pa, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    NaturalNews. com <index.html>

    Originally published September 22 2008

    Efforts to Halt the National Animal Identification System Head to Court

    by Barbara L. Minton

    (NaturalNews) A couple of speed bumps have developed in rolling out
    implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), the
    joint effort of the USDA and big agribusiness to legislate mandatory
    registration of everyone who owns just one livestock animal. Two
    recently filed law suits reveal the frustrations of animal owners over
    this legislation which they see as part of the effort to monopolize
    American food production through the use of fear and intimidation.

    A suit filed on July 14 in U.S. District Court by the Farm-to-Consumer
    Legal Defense Fund is seeking to stop the USDA
    <http://www.naturaln ews.com/the_ USDA.html> and the Michigan Department
    of Agriculture (MDA) from implementing the NAIS. The first two stages of
    implementation have already been completed and involve property
    registration and issuance of a 15 digit unique ID number usually in the
    form of a microchip or distance-readable Radio Frequency ID tag for all
    cattle and farms throughout the state. The effort will later extend to
    all horses, donkeys, chickens, pigeons, goats, llamas, sheep, pigs,
    cows, alpacas, ducks, farmed fish, etc.

    The third stage planned by the USDA
    <http://www.naturaln ews.com/USDA. html> will entail the livestock owner's
    reporting to a database all changes in ownership and significant changes
    in location or status of any animal. The owner will pay a fee for each

    Formulated under the Patriot Act and therefore with no legislative
    review or input of the people, NAIS is designed to streamline access to
    international markets for multinational meatpackers and processors of
    animal products, and to protect them from liability involving their

    The suit is asking the court to issue an injunction stopping the
    implementation of NAIS at either the state or federal levels by any
    state or federal agency. A successful outcome of this suit would stop
    NAIS in its tracks.

    The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund president, Taaron Meikle, quoted
    on the NoNAIS.org website is angered by the actions of the USDA which is
    spending over $118 million on the beginning stages of this so-called
    voluntary program that ultimately seeks to register more than 120
    million animals into a national database at a time when the USDA efforts
    to protect the country's food <http://www.naturaln ews.com/food. html>
    safety are woefully under funded.

    In another suit, a journalist following family farm issues is taking the
    government to court to require it to keep faith with the American
    farmers <http://www.naturaln ews.com/farmers. html> by allowing access to
    its records. Although registration in NAIS is publicized as being
    voluntary, many livestock owners report that, despite their refusal to
    register their animals, they have been placed in the program's database
    without their knowledge or consent. Having the registration list
    available for public scrutiny would allow animal owners to see what
    information the government is keeping on them.

    The journalist, Mary-Louise Zanoni, is a freelance writer in New York.
    She is seeking disclosure of the USDA's National Premise Information
    Repository (NPIR), a list of contact information for livestock premises,
    as well as a list of how many livestock owners have requested removal
    from the NPIR and how many such requests the USDA has honored.

    Ms. Zanoni submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the
    USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the NPIR list. The
    agency initially indicated that it planned to disclose several thousand
    pages of the list to her, but later denied her request on the basis of
    FOIA's exemption 6 which in some circumstances permits an agency to
    withhold files when disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion
    of privacy.

    Ms. Zanoni contends that the NPIR list is basic contact information that
    would not fall under FOIA exemption 6. She points out the /Farm Bill,
    Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008/, which includes a provision
    added by the conference committee at the last minute and with no public
    debate, as being intended to shield large amounts of USDA information
    from public disclosure. She challenges this provision as not applicable
    to her request and as unconstitutionally enacted.

    Signing animal owners up for NAIS without their permission is only the
    beginning of the coercion. When NAIS takes full effect, strict
    enforcement involving fines, inspections and confiscation or
    redistribution of livestock can be done by the USDA or state officials
    without trial or legal hearings and with no compensation to the owner of
    the animals. Failure to register home or farm with a Premise ID already
    faces a $1,000 fine in some states. This is in violation of the Fourth
    Amendment of the Constitution.

    Coercion also extends to the schools where USDA officials try to use
    children as recruiters for their parents
    <http://www.naturaln ews.com/parents. html>. The Future Farmers of America
    <http://www.naturaln ews.com/America. html> and the 4H Club have received
    large sums to use getting children to endorse the program to their parents.

    NAIS will not make the American consumer any safer. The initiative is
    not intended for that purpose. The goal of NAIS is to provide animal
    tracking required for exporting animals to foreign markets. NAIS expands
    profits of the huge food conglomerates, not consumer safety. The trace
    back required by international markets could mean weeks or months have
    elapsed since any problem would actually have occurred.

    The most common type of meat contamination in the United States is from
    bacteria such as /E coli/ and /Listeria/. Contamination is not
    discovered until masses of people become ill. The giant meat processors
    slaughter thousands of animals a day and pack their meat in huge plants.
    NAIS would be useless in determining if the contamination was from one
    animal, multiple animals, or unsanitary conditions. Meat from the giant
    processors is sent to all the states simultaneously, endangering
    millions of consumers at one time.

    Contamination of food generally happens after it leaves the farm. Many
    examples of factory contaminated food fill the news. If a problem is not
    discovered at the factory but later, at the consumer level, there is a
    recall. The systems are in place to handle all situations.

    Meat sold to stores and restaurants is supposedly USDA inspected during
    slaughter and processing. But the large numbers of recalls show that
    meat from big commercial producers may not have been properly inspected
    because the USDA is too busy pushing NAIS to do its job as it should be
    done. NAIS does nothing to halt the spread of Mad Cow Disease or Avian Flu.

    Agribusiness is the clear winner under NAIS. The prize is expanded
    export markets with legal liability protection, market share gains,
    bigger monopolies and higher prices. The losers are the small farmers
    who will be forced out of business due to the required additional fees
    and paperwork, and the consumers who will ultimately have to foot the
    bill for NAIS.

    About the author

    Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of
    personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative"
    treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all
    things natural.
  2. I hope that they stop this stupid NAIS plan.
  3. simba49450

    simba49450 Songster

    May 23, 2008
    that sucks!!!
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Well, most of you know how I feel about this ridiculous, unconstitutional, money-pit of a program. Just look at my sig line.
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Jeez, aren't they desperate???????????
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Perhaps they should put more focus on the meat packing and processing plants and their inspections which put consumers at risk, instead of the little backyard guy/gal who's chicken will probably never end up on someone's table. [​IMG]

  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I am surprised they have not come u with an organization to tell us what type of underwear we can wear and what color for each day.

    This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, unconstitutional and ludicrous.
  9. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    The third stage planned by the USDA
    <http://www.naturaln ews.com/USDA. html> will entail the livestock owner's
    reporting to a database all changes in ownership and significant changes
    in location or status of any animal. The owner will pay a fee for each

    Does everyone see where this would be such a disadvantage to the backyard flock owner or even the small farmer? Who has the $ to pay for a report each time you sell a chicken or even have to cull one? I know I don't! This is such a stupid, nonsense program that absolutely has to stop! [​IMG] Let's all pray they can stop it. [​IMG]
  10. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    To do further research on this look up Country of Origin Labeling or C.O.O.L. it went into affect I believe Sept 20, 2008 and NAIS is the reporting phase of COOL. On the flip side, need a pond or grain storage? Maybe a waterway put in? We can bankrupt the USDA by applying for every program that they offer if we have to register as a farm. Why should the corporate farms get all the subsidies?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: