The National Animal ID program was originally designed to give the big beef producers help in getting export markets which required disease controls. The idea is that every single livestock animal in the United States will be identified and tagged. All livestock animal movements will be tracked, logged and reported to the government. The benefit is to the big factory farms who probably do need this type of regulation. They get to do single ID’s for large groups of animals. Small farmers, pet owners and homesteaders will have to tag and track every single animal.
Children who are in 4-H or Future Farmers of America will have to register their parents house as a farm and get a Premise ID as well as paying the annual fees and doing paper work every time an animal is bought, sold, shown or moved. This will also stifle county fairs which are already on fragile footing. Figure you’ll not be seeing livestock at fairs of the future - there will just be the midway and amusement rides that are poorly inspected, but no animals.
Homesteaders, people who grow some of their own food, will have to register with the government as a farm and obtain a Premise ID. They’ll also have to pay the annual fees associated with that and fill out the paperwork on all of their livestock. Every time you have chicks, goats, piglets or other animals born you’ll need to register it with the government. Every time an animal dies you’ll have to register it with the government. Got a predator problem? Expect to fill out a lot of paperwork. Have an animal escape the fence and cross the road or go onto a neighbor’s property? Fill out more forms and the neighbor may have to fill out forms, too. Animals come on to your property uninvited? More forms. And no, there are no exceptions. Every livestock animal must be registered, tagged and tracked from birth to death.
Small Farmers who sell direct to their customers will be devastated. Small farmers already work at higher costs than the big factory farms. Under NAIS they’ll have to identify each and every animal at a high cost because they can’t use the group identification techniques of the big Agri-Biz corporations. The big guys do all-in/all-out animal management. Each mass group of animals are of one gene stock and the same age. The factory farms need only apply for one ID to cover the entire group of thousands of animals. Small, traditional-style farmers have many, genetically diverse animals of different ages on their farms. Each individual animal will be required to have an ID. The result is that the cost of farming will go up greatly for small farmers. This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin of small farming. Developers will be over joyed as they buy up farm land at rock bottom prices to divide up into condos and strip malls. Rural America will turn dingy with pavement. Gone will be the fields, pastures and meadows filled with grazing livestock.
There are no exceptions - even small farms that sell direct to local consumers will be required to pay the fees and file all the paper work on all their animals. Even horse, llama and other pet owners will be required to participate in NAIS. Homesteaders who raise their own meat and grandma with her one egg hen will also have to register their homes as ‘farm premises’ and obtain a Premise ID, tag all their animals and submit all the paperwork and fees. Absurd? Yes - There are no exceptions under the current NAIS plan. The USDA has slipped this plan in the back door without any legislation. This is going to be very expensive and guess who is going to pay for it in higher food prices… You!
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