December 12, 2006

USDA is taking public comments on NAIS

USDA is taking comments at:

Let them know what you think!!

1 comment:

  1. Here is the text of my comment to the USDA concerning the NAIS:

    Thank you for allowing me to comment upon the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

    I am strongly opposed to the NAIS for the following reasons:

    * There is no provision for prevention or cure of animal diseases, only attempts to control animal movements and allow traceback after the damage is done.

    * There is no differentiation between large agribussiness corporations and a family with a few laying hens or a singe cow. Livestock pandemics are far more likely to occur at a larger facility working with thousands of animals than at a small homestead whose owner knows each animal personally.

    * The cost of the NAIS has never been adequately addressed. Who actually foots the bill? What would it actually cost to register and monitor every farm aninal in the USA?

    * The NAIS would out of necessity create a large beaurocracy to track the movments, sales, and deaths of millions of each species. The staff needed to maintain client contacts, update databases, and communicate information would need to be massive. Again, who is to pay for this ongoing beaurocracy?

    * The NAIS is redundant for many species of farm animals since there are already databases in existance that provide the needed information. These databases are used for breeding and and herd improvement , and tracking of disease within specific livestock organizations.

    * There are constitutional issues of privacy, religious practice, and personal liberty that have not been addressed by the USDA concerning the NAIS. In the event of a disease outbreak, healthy animals within a certain radius of diseased animals would be destroyed to prevent contagion from spreading. This will harm the livelihood of farmers who have done no wrong, trouncing their right of protection from unwarranted government search and seizure.

    * There is the question of how this data will be used. Who will benefit from this massive amount of information? Certainly not the farmers. What is to prevent the eventually release of info via the FOIA? How secure is this database?

    * The latest NAIS information stresses that the program will be voluntary, but still has a goal of 100% participation. How is this to be accomplished? Will a premises ID be required for other government benefits or programs? Will it become a requirement at the state level instead? There needs to be some clarification about the terms "mandatory" and "voluntary."

    Thank you for your consideration in this area.

    Gilbert Bernier


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