NAIS NAIS NAIS-Opting Out of NAIS is a Pathetic Solution AND Arizona First State to Prohibit Mandatory Animal Identification (NAIS)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


NAIS NAIS NAIS-Opting Out of NAIS is a Pathetic Solution AND Arizona First State to Prohibit Mandatory Animal Identification (NAIS)

8 May 2007 at 5:41:07 PM

Saw this press release, I like the language.

Arizona became the first state in the nation to prohibit mandatory participation in a National Animal Identification System. State Senator Karen Johnson, who sponsored the bill, said, "We are delighted that the legislature and the governor recognize the dangers of allowing government to force people to register their premises, tag every one of their livestock animals, and then report to the government every time their animals move off their premises."
    The brief but powerful addition to the Arizona statutes says:
    "The Director, Department, or any other officer, agency or instrumentality of this state shall not mandate or force participation in the National Animal Identification System."

 At least a dozen other states ( are considering legislation to block efforts by both state and federal government to require livestock animal owners to participate in the NAIS.
    "Livestock owners see the NAIS as an intrusion into private property rights, which will cost animal owners a lot of money and time, and will have virtually no effect in preventing animal disease or improving food safety," says Judith McGeary, member of the Steering Committee of the
Liberty Ark Coalition.
    The NAIS was first proposed by USDA as a mandatory program to begin in 2007. Opposition from livestock owners forced officials to redesign the program as "voluntary at the federal level," while continuing to fund mandatory and coercive state programs. The USDA boasts that nearly 385,000 people have registered in the program, but no one knows how many of these people were registered without their knowledge. For example, as many as 15,000 to 20,000 people were registered without their knowledge in Idaho, before the practice was stopped.
    Children in 4-H and FFA programs in some states have been forced to register before they can sell animals or go to shows. In response to public pressure, USDA recently provided a process for people to withdraw from the database.

About Opting Out of NAIS- In general, I'm against ever having to opt OUT of a program. Instead, I should be able to opt IN if I think it's valuable. 

    "As more people learn about NAIS, and the opposition continues to grow, we expect to see many more states rejecting NAIS," says Karin Bergener, another member of the Liberty Ark steering committee. Meanwhile, Senator Johnson has pledged to address any problems with Department pressure in Arizona.
    The Liberty Ark Coalition was formed a year ago to inform people and help coordinate a national effort to stop the program.

While I was reading about this, I came across this Open Letter to the Liberty Ark Coalition, from February, with rebuttal. There are two main issues I have with NAIS. One is that the USDA is pushing the program to become mandatory-were it truly voluntary (like where some people chip their pets), then it would be that person's choice and the data FROM that person's choice would be held locally, at, say, the veterinarian. But the language of the Sid Miller's bill seems to only be a stopgap to press through a mandatory system, when no one is paying attention. I like the language, above, from Arizona, which is unequivocal. Also, the USDA needs to not put people into a government database without their express knowledge and permission. We have quite enough of that already, thank you, from other governmental departments-and removing oneself means one has to KNOW that the USDA collected information in the first place! It's also not clear to me whether the person is actually removed entirely from the database or merely flagged in some way-that is a BIG difference.

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