Honest to goodness! Ever since that Libby Quaid article came out, my Google alerts have been pouring in fast and furious, Animal ID is voluntary. Even R-CALF has fallen for it. I am disgusted. Has no one read the New Plan?
And now, the Cooperative Agreement for FY 2007 has come out. Actually it came out the day before the New Plan was issued. Those guys are so slick. Link to the Cooperative Agreement (CA)for FY 2007 is here, cached in Google.
The truth of NAIS is found in the CA. I challenge you to read it and tell me that it is really voluntary. As a teaser, Page 12, second bullet under USDA will provide funding for:
The Integration of existing State systems with the SPRS or a CPRS. This “pulling” of data from existing databases that already contain premises related information seems to be a prudent and cost effective method in many cases. States must carefully consider whether this type of data integration to register livestock premises under NAIS would be interpreted as “voluntary” and if this would create any problems for premises registration in the long term.If you have come here because you want to learn more about NAIS, you must read the New Plan, the Draft Strategic Plan and the CA FY2007. The New Plan says that it supercedes the Draft Strategic Plan, yet the CA says:
Projects must focus on implementation of premises and animal identification methods according to the standards defined in the NAIS Draft Program Standards. This funding opportunity does NOT include funds for conducting research to develop or test potential solutions for animal identification and animal movement data collection.
So they are still using the Standards in the Draft even thought they say they aren't.
When all is said and done, everything in the New Plan and the CA has to do with industry. Nothing is said about small/private, non-commerical farms, homesteaders, hobbyists. We are being painted with the same brush.
Vermont stands to get a grant of $81K from this new CA, but we don't have premises registration in place (wink, wink, wink). There are a heck of a lot of hoops to jump through to fulfill the requirements for the money. Within the CA you will be able to discover what percentage of farms have premises registrations.
I wonder how Paul Revere felt as he was riding from village to village trying to spread the word that the British were coming? I doubt he felt as frustrated as I feel.