The USDA has already used NAIS for something other than what it was intended for. Read this spin and then at the bottom read something written by a major cattle producer who is squarely anti-NAIS.
National Animal Identification System Proves to be a Valuable Tool During Blizzard Recovery Operations========================
January 4, 2007 - Lakewood, CO
Phone calls directly to ranchers in southeast Colorado helped evaluate the safety of those ranchers families and the well being of Colorado livestock during the blizzard recovery operation. This process was made possible by the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
Those with registered premises were called on Wednesday and Thursday by the Colorado Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian's Office. Those phone calls helped locate animals and find out if they have had access to feed.
"Starvation and dehydration are certainly animal health concerns and we are pleased that we could utilize the system in this emergency situation," said State Veterinarian Dr. John Maulsby. Maulsby, who has been in southeast Colorado assisting with relief efforts, was speaking about the National Animal Identification System's premises registration.
Emergency hay drops had begun when the decision was made to use this tool in the six counties hit hardest by the storm to make contact with ranchers, ensuring they had been able to get feed to their livestock.
"Having direct access to livestock owners gave us the opportunity to quickly assess the situation," said Colorado Division of Emergency Management Director, George Epp. "Protecting the health of Colorado livestock is a top priority to this operation and NAIS was a big help."
Aerial surveillance crews continue to search for additional herds; meanwhile, the Colorado and Wyoming National Guard are performing hay drops to get feed to stranded livestock. So far, more than 70 tons of hay has been delivered by helicopters and a C-130 military transport plane. Generators are being utilized to help communities without electricity to pump water. Large tankers are also being used to deliver water to necessary locations.
If livestock owners need assistance getting food and water to animals, it is recommended they call their local sheriff's office.
Now from the cattle producer:
Here's my take----70 tons is 140,000 pounds. A cow weighing 1000 lbs will eat her body weight in 10% moist fiber, (hay) once a month----so that is 33 lbs a day, not counting what is stepped on and buried, and what is blown away by blizzard wind. Divide one day's meal for one cow into the 140,000 lbs and you have enough to feed 4242 cows one day, or about 5% of the cattle in one large feed lot. Wow!!! God Bless NAIS and the Colorado State Vet. It costs the government over $1200 per hour to place a helicopter in the air that carries about the same amount of hay as a beat up ranch pickup truck. It makes a great spin story for city people to fall in love with NAIS, however those of us who are in the business know the tax payers paid more to feed the cows than the cows were worth! Sure it makes good TV to see those bales drop from the air, but the facts are, #1 the cows that were lost in the blizzard were lost before the helicopters found the hay stack, and #2 more than 99% of the cattle were fed with the pickup trucks and tractors with hay from their owners.
Let's get real!!!! I prefer to be lied to professionally, rather than by government bureaucrats who set behind desks in warm brick buildings. When the government invents self serving press releases telling how great they are, don't try explaining floods to Noah! I lost 40 head in a Colorado blizzard on March 10, 1977 and I am still looking for the helicopters. I suppose we didn't have a NAIS program then?
Where is Bill O'Reilly when you need him to stop the spin?