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usda holds public meetings on animal id

Posted by beagler1776 z6MD (My Page) on
Mon, May 10, 10 at 12:13

Liberty Ark Action Alert: USDA Holds Public Meetings on Animal Identification
Date: May 1, 2010
USDA is holding three public meetings on Animal Identification in Missouri, Maryland, and Colorado in May:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Holiday Inn Kansas City SE Waterpark
9103 East 39th Street
Kansas City, MO 64133

Thursday, May 13, 2010
USDA Center at Riverside
4700 River Road
Riverdale, MD 20737

Monday, May 17, 2010
Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport
15500 East 40th Avenue
Denver, CO 80239

If you are within traveling distance of these meetings, please come and speak up!

USDA has stated that there will be other opportunities for input. So if you can't go to one of the meetings, stay tuned for information on how to submit written comments.

More information is posted at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/meetings/index.shtml

BACKGROUND

USDA announced in February that it was no longer pursuing the NAIS, and that NAIS would be replaced with a new program that would only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce and that would encourage the use of lower-cost technology.

In response to questions about what "interstate commerce" includes, USDA has clarified that the new program will apply only to animals that actually cross state or tribal lines. States will be responsible for tracking animals that move intrastate. Dr. Clifford, USDA's Chief Veterinarian, confirmed this position at the conference held by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), the industry group that developed NAIS.

But here are some of the many remaining issues:

* At the federal level, what will "lower cost technology" mean? At the NIAA conference, Dr. Clifford stated that electronic ID will not be required. But will that remain true in the future? What species of animals will have to be identified when they cross state lines? Will animals that do not change ownership when they cross state lines (for shows, for slaughter, or to pastures under common ownership) also have to be identified? How can people who are already in the database get out?

* At the State level, will States implement NAIS-type programs using the existing databases and technology systems, as Wisconsin and Michigan have already done? USDAs Q&A sheet states that the premises ID allocator and 840 tags will both still be available to States. At the NIAA conference, industry representatives set out their plans to push for "model regulations" in key States, which they can then expand into nationwide standards.

* At the market level, will private parties, such as sales barns that have invested in tag readers and other infrastructure, try to force use of NAIS premises identifiers and 840 tags on livestock owners?

Despite the lack of any real benefits from the program, the push for electronic tagging and tracking will continue, even if it is disguised. We must remain vigilant, and fight NAIS-type programs on three fronts: federal, State, and private parties using coercion.

Take Action
In addition to coming to the USDA public meetings, there are many things you can do:

1) Contact your state legislators to let them know about the changes. Explain that you are still against electronic tagging and tracking of livestock, in whatever form, and that you want them to monitor the state agencys actions, so that they dont slip NAIS-type programs in through the back door. If your state has already passed legislating authorizing NAIS, ask your legislator to work to repeal it.

2) Contact your state agriculture or animal health department. Get on their mailing list so you can stay informed about meetings, and ask to be included in any working groups that are established.

3) Keep educating your community. Talk with your local sales barns and encourage them to support the local small farms by continuing to use traditional back tags and low-tech forms of identification.

4) Stay vigilant!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: usda holds public meetings on animal id

Thanks Beagler1776 for keeping us informed.
Brendasue


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