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

wilds of pa

14 Years
Feb 17, 2007
The Blue Mountains of Pa
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.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
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.



Chicken Beader
11 Years
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.


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
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!
Let's all pray they can stop it.


14 Years
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?

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