Small farmers and backyard flock/herd keepers are facing a serious threat to their way of life. The government is proposing a Mandatory Property and Animal Surveillance Program that will require the registration of property and individual animals, even if you have only one chicken, pig, cow, etc. This must be stopped, or all small farmers will be driven out of business.
Poultry keepers and small farmers are facing a serious threat from a proposed government intrusion in to their pastimes and way of life. For quite a while now, the USDA has been working with the very largest scale animal industry organizations ( for example, The National Pork Producers, Monsanto Company, and Cargill Meat) to develop a mandatory "National Animal Identification System" (NAIS).
Most small scale livestock producers, people who raise animals for their own food, and people who keep horses and livestock as companion animals do not know about this. The NAIS will drive small producers out of the market, will force people to stop raising animals for their own food, and will invade our privacy to an extreme degree. It will violate the religious freedoms of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply, and will destroy the last vestiges of animal welfare from the production of animals for food.
On April 25, 2005,the USDA released "Draft Program Standards" and a "Draft Strategic Plan" concerning the NAIS. If you think the description below to bizarre to be true, please go to usda.gov/nais and read the Standards and Plan and check the citations for yourself.
By January 1, 2008, the NAIS will be mandatory.(Plan,pp. 2,10,17) Every person who owns even one horse, cow ,pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including the owners name, address and phone number, and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring in a giant federal database under a 7-digit "premises id number." St., pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p.5)
Every animal will be assigned a 15 digit I.D. number, also to be kept in a federal database. The id will likely be a tag or microchip containing a Radio Frequency Device, designed to be read from a distance. (Plan, p.10; St.,pp.6,12,20,27-28.) The plan may include collecting the DNA of every animal and /or a retinal scan.
The owner will be required to report the birth date of every animal, the application of every animal's id tag, every time an animal enters or leaves the property, every time an animal loses a tag,every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, if any animal is missing. These events must be reported within 24 hours.
Third parties, like veterinarians, will be required to report "sightings" of animals. For example, if you have a vet on your property to treat a sick animal, and the vet sees any animal without the mandatory 15-digit computer readable id, the vet will be required to report you.
If you do not comply, the USDA will exorcise "enforcement" against you. The USDA hasn't specified the nature of "enforcement" as of yet, but it will probably include fines and/or seizing your animals. There are no exceptions-under this plan you will be forced to register an report even if you raise animals only for your own food or keep horses for draft or transportation.
What you can do:
Small scale keepers of poultry and other livestock can take action to create an effective movement in opposition to the USDA plan. First, small scale livestock owners should not participate in any "voluntary" state or federal program to register farms or animals. The USDA is making farmers willingness to participate in a "voluntary" program as a justification for making the program mandatory. ( See Plan, "Executive Summary" and pp.7-8) Small farmers and livestock owners can also help to inform and organize others. The USDA presently does not plan to finalize it's rules for mandatory id until the summer of 2006. There is still time to make your voice heard. Please, sign this petition and let the USDA know we will not stand for having our right, freedoms, and personal privacy taken away. Thank you.