Suspension of the NAIS

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by DTchickens, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Small farmers, big ranchers, home farmers, animal and pet owners, and food freedom advocates have come together to legally fight implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The results are encouraging.

    Farm and ranch organizations, R-CALF USA being one of the leaders, along with the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation, run by farmer Walter Jeffries in Vermont, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and even a few rural newspapers, along with some concerned attorneys, have done yeoman’s service in the fight to oppose the onerous and intrusive NAIS – the program initiated to track and monitor all animals and their movements.

    R-CALF USA along with several states’ cattlemen’s associations has now accused the USDA of, among other things: improperly acquiring premises registrations by “registering premises without farmer or rancher consent,” by tapping into different states’ agriculture databases and county fair records, and using improper tactics directed at 4-H participants; proceeding without regard to cost, liability and confidentiality concerns for livestock producers; misrepresenting the Privacy Act protections; and of protecting and assisting meatpackers in transferring NAIS information to carcasses, thereby exposing individual producers to liability for problems that occur or are created after the animal leaves the farm.

    With this in mind, R-CALF and a host of other concerned associations have formally requested leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to halt advancement of NAIS and to conduct oversight hearings on the USDA’s activities.

    Also, on June 4, 2008, the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, ordered the USDA to suspend its plan to establish by June 9, 2008 a system of records entitled “National Animal Identification System.” The suspension was immediate and indefinite and was the result of a legal case, Mary-Louise Zanoni v. United States Department of Agriculture. Mary-Louise Zanoni is an upstate New York attorney and leading farm activist in the fight to protect the traditional rights of farmers. The suit was filed in an attempt to seek access to the NAIS database to determine its accuracy.

    The USDA’s proposed NAIS program, incidentally never voted into law by Congress, was supposed to be a three-step “voluntary” program, but in many states it is anything but. Wisconsin farmer Jeff Pausma, who runs a relatively small dairy operation of about 60 cows, received a letter stating that if he did not comply with the Wisconsin NAIS law, he would lose his milk producer license. For Pausma, the expense of having to participate in the program with its mandatory electronic tagging system is quite a bit of a financial burden as well. As a small farmer, every one of his cows must be identified, tagged, and tracked, each with separate numbers. Meanwhile, factory-style mega-farms need only one federal ID number for the whole farm, an injustice clearly in favor of big agribusiness.

    Another small farm activist group, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, filed suit on July 14, 2008, also in the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, to stop the USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) from implementing NAIS as well. The MDA had already implemented the first two steps, namely property registration and animal identification, and the suit asks the court for an injunction to stop NAIS at either the state or federal levels. Fund President Taaron Meikle, who calls the program one that “only a bureaucrat could love,” also says that existing programs for diseases and state laws on branding along with existing record keeping already provide the mechanisms needed for tracking.

    This new suit charges the USDA with never having published NAIS rules, a violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act; never having performed an Environmental Impact Statement or Assessment as required by law; and also violation of religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The good news is that the case will be heard by the same judge who ruled in favor of suspending NAIS on June 4.

    Several states have passed legislation to protect citizens from the massive government-sanctioned program. Nebraska passed a law providing for a procedure for withdrawal from the premise registrations. Kentucky’s law prevents the release of confidential information for the purposes of NAIS. Arizona prohibits mandated or forced participation, and Missouri passed a similar law, with the addition of allowing its citizens to withdraw from the program at any time. But these are just band-aid-sized appeasements.

    John Wallace, a candidate for Congress in New York’s 20th Congressional District, says the current NAIS program is not about preventing mad cow or other diseases since most contamination happens in the processing plants after the animals have been sold. It is, he says, “about helping big corporate agribusiness and RFID chip manufacturers make bigger profits at the expense of the small family farmers and ranchers. Protecting America’s food supply and preserving the country’s livestock’s resistance to diseases can best be protected by the continued decentralization of our nation’s food production and processing.”

    Wallace’s conclusion is constitutionally spot-on:

    The current U.S. Department of Agriculture NAIS program means bigger government, more government intrusion, more regulations, more paperwork, more fees, more taxes and more federal spending. It will only result in less privacy, less freedom, less liberty, and less property and 4th Amendment rights for American citizens. It’s exactly the kind of unconstitutional federal program every American citizen and their elected federal representatives should oppose.

    For a time it appeared that the NAIS program was going to be a steamroller crushing the rights of citizens. But courageous individuals standing up to the bureaucrats are demonstrating that activism in the name of liberty and freedom can indeed be effective in putting a stop to the march of big government.

    Saw it no another forum.. why not post here? [​IMG]
  2. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground

    Awesome news, and hopefully it's the beginning of the end for NAIS nationwide. It was such bad policy, congratulations to everyone who pulled together to fight it. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Sept 30 C.O.O.L. goes into affect and is dragging NAIS right with it. Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
    Clara Lau (202) 720-8998

    WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 -- USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today released a draft Business Plan to further the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). AMS encourages participants in voluntary marketing programs such as the USDA Process Verified, the Quality Systems Assessment and the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programs to meet the inherent animal identification requirements by using NAIS.

    "The AMS Business Plan will allow for integration of the National Animal Identification System with AMS audit-based marketing programs," said Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. "NAIS is a voluntary partnership among producers and government. This immediately provides the producer a twofold reward for a single investment. It ensures trace back of their animals for herd health reasons and provides benefits for marketing value-added animals domestically and internationally."

    Currently, all AMS partners that have approved marketing programs are actively encouraging the use of premise registration and NAIS compliant Animal Identification Numbers for these marketing program participants. Using NAIS, producers would at the same time meet the requirements for animal identification and traceability for these AMS marketing programs. Further, use of NAIS along with enrollment in these voluntary AMS marketing programs ensures that cattle are eligible for the AMS Export Verification Program for Japan with an opportunity for significant premiums for cattle producers.

    NAIS would single out product derived from these cattle so that it can be labeled properly when presented for sale at U.S. grocery stores, for American consumers. This helps meet the objectives of the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program by identifying the origin of cattle upon arrival at harvest facilities. Contingent upon the publication of a Final Rule implementing COOL for meat and poultry products, AMS and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will coordinate efforts to develop a COOL "safe harbor" for NAIS participants: packers that rely upon NAIS to determine the origin of their livestock and poultry will subsequently be recognized by the Department as demonstrating compliance with the COOL program's record keeping requirements.

    Additional information about NAIS is available at and AMS voluntary marketing programs at

    celebrate yet, it is still one big steamroller coming our way.
  4. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    Good, good, good! Let's hope and pray that this non-sense program will go down permanently. [​IMG]
  5. Bawkadoodledoo

    Bawkadoodledoo Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    Central MA
    YES! that program has been slowly crushing our rights for TOO long!
  6. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Here are the regs for the labeling under C.O.O.L. it is a PDF file and quite long. Nothing has been won yet, to stop NAIS first one must stop COOL which by the way some that oppose NAIS are in favor of. Join R-Calf whether you have cattle or not to help give them money to litigate this thing and get it stopped. They have the members but can always use more. If nothing else send them a dollar or two to help. The USDA is using COOL to implement this thing and we are letting them by not cutting off the snake's head and chopping at it's tail instead. Write your congressman make some noise, but be polite and gracious.
  7. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I would like to see the NAIS go too but, it is a long way off. Especially with miss info floating around. I am a small dairy farmer in WI and while some producers have recieved letters saying they have to register their premisis or loose their license I have not heard of any having to tag individual animals!

    We are registered with the premisis ID-not much choice-and I can see the use in that. There was a case of psuedo-rabies in pigs that came from wild pigs. The state was able to locate other pigs in the area much quicker due to the registration and contain it and then those pigs were sent to slaughter and the problem was taken care of.

    I do not believe each animal should/needs to be identified. They are already tagged when you sell them through a sale barn. A private sale is going to remember where they got the animal from.

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