To:á Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Legislature
WHEREAS, we the undersigned Texas residents believe the proposed Texas premises identification regulations as they relate to animal ownership and subsequent animal identification and tracking will unduly burden the family farm, hobby farm, small producer, and 4-H and FFA participant, both fiscally and physically; and
WHEREAS, we believe the animal movements by such owners are already easily traceable through livestock show records, veterinary health certificates, the Scrapie eradication program and sales to end consumers; and
WHEREAS, the USDA National Animal Identification System is neither finalized nor mandatory and is, in fact, undergoing revision; and
WHEREAS, we believe such programs constitute an invasion of personal privacy and such large-scale, computer- and satellite-aided surveillance is unprecedented in this state and country; and
WHEREAS, we believe true food security arises from individual food production or purchases from local farmers; and
WHEREAS, such a program will only serve to benefit corporations and industrial-scale animal production and those in the business of export; and
WHEREAS, such a program places a burden on religious freedom by mandating compliance among those of plain faiths and others who object to government surveillance and control of private property for religious reasons;
NOW, THEREFORE, WE REQUEST the Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Legislature clarify the law to include the following:
The Texas program should be placed on hold or remain voluntary until such time as the national plan has been approved, finalized and deemed mandatory; and
Exemptions should be granted for the above-named individuals, for animals raised for private consumption, and on the basis of species (small ruminants tracked through the Scrapie eradication program, backyard poultry) and numbers of animals; and
Existing forms of animal identification should be accepted, i.e., registry tattoos, scrapie identification tags, etc.
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