it is still legal to sell sheep & goats in Tennessee?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by hencackle, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I just received this email from a member of the Brentwood, TN chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. It's scary folks!

    Dear Y’all,
    I’m probably behind the 8-ball. I normally am.
    Regardless, this morning I discovered something interesting.
    It is no longer legal to sell sheep or goats in Tennessee.
    Right, it is no longer legal to sell sheep or goats in Tennessee.

    I know, you’re thinking I put a tablespoon of crazy in my Cheerios today, but read on.

    I opened a letter this morning from the Tennessee Livestock Producers Association that announced that my sheep or goats must now have a Scrapie tag if I sell them at a sale barn. If they aren’t tagged, when I sell them at the sale barn, I will be charged $3.00 per animal to have them tagged when I sell them.
    But wait! The letter also said that I could call USDA Vet Services at 615-781-5310 and get the tags for free. Wow, I thought. The government giving something away for free – where’s the punch in the mouth that normally accompanies their ‘freebies’?
    That wasn’t the only thing that puzzled me, though. So I called.
    When a nice government worker lady answered the phone, I told her about the letter and asked what I needed to do to get the ‘free’ tags. She said, well, I can fill out the application for you on the phone and then you get the tags for free (I realise now that I was remiss in asking the name of the application). So, I then asked her why they were giving away Scrapie tags to be put on animals that weren’t being tested for Scrapie. A Scrapie tag in an ear means noScrapie, right? Wrong. She said that it wasn’t about Scrapie. They just want to be able to trace the animal back to me in case it gets sick.
    “So this is just like a low-tech version of the animal id, right?”
    “Right,” she said.
    “Ok, you’ve answered my questions. I sure appreciate your time.”
    “But don’t you want me to fill out the application for you?” she said.
    “No,” I said, “I don’t think I’ll be selling any more sheep at the sale barn.”
    “Well,” she said in the most authoritative tone she could muster, “you should know that you can be fined if you sell sheep or goats privately now and they don’t have an ear tag.”
    “Ok, thanks, bye.” I said.

    Pictures of gun-toting, uniformed tag-checkers began flying through my head and it hit me – if now I can be fined for selling something in the same condition I used to, the way I always have in the past, it’s no longer legal for me to sell that thing.

    Still think we’re in a free country?​
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
  3. hey Hencackle, Your in Tennessee, what did you expect.
  4. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I'd hoped our legislators were still redneck enough to remember their roots and to care about TN farmers!
  5. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Oy vey.

    Time to start writing letters.
  6. cgjsmith

    cgjsmith Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    Humm I don't think anyone is paying attention. there are lotsof goats that are being sold. I need to callmy ag extension. Crystal
  7. cherndon712

    cherndon712 Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    [​IMG] [​IMG] I would be very irked (the other word that came to mind is NOT PG!)
  8. lexustami

    lexustami Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    St. Clairsville, OH
    All it is saying is they need a Scrapies tag. It isn't anything new.

    Take care,


    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    They've been doing this in NY for years-what's the big problem????
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I'm not sure how long the Scrapie tag program has been in effect, but this is certainly nothing new. It applies to goats and sheep which have reached breeding age and are not destined to become meat. So, by 18 month old, all your breeding goats and sheep must be tagged, unless:

    - They are registered/pedigreed purebreds, in which case the normal tatooing or tagging is accepted in leiu of the scrapie tag.
    - If they are neutred, obviously they cannot breed, and therefore are not required to be tagged.
    - If you are selling lambs and kids which can be bred, I think you do need to tag them with your farm number (not the guy buying them).

    Many auction yards won't accept untagged animals, though. But then again, who the hell buys animals through an auction yard for breeding? They're someone elese's culls.

    And finally, this is a required USDA program. It has nothing to do with Tennessee or New York. It's a US wide program. Your State extension offices do coordinate getting you the free tags shipped... but I splurge and get fancy ones with our farm name on them.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2008

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