Jolley: Five Minutes With Sharon Zecchinelli & Doreen Hannes
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I wrapped up 2007 with a series of interviews with people who are backing NAIS. It was an interesting and well-read series – even if I do say so – that explained in detail all the reasons that make animal identification a good idea. Sharon Zecchinelli contacted me, though, and demanded that the scales be balanced. “There are reasons it is not a good idea,” she said.
Here is the salient point: NAIS is a controversial subject, a coin with at least two sides. On close examination, we might even have to count the edge of the coin and call it a three-sided argument.
There are contingencies of small farmers and hobbyists who don’t like the idea. Not one bit. They see it as an unnecessary intrusion on their rights as private citizens - as a money grab by big business at the expense of the little guy - maybe even creeping socialism. One person harrumphed about the insanity of trying to ear tag chickens – she was stretching a point to make her point, of course.
But not to be tagged myself (as a slanted journalist, not an NAIS chicken), I invited Zecchinelli to stand in for the anti-NAIS groups and speak her piece. She agreed and invited her friend, Doreen Hannes, to participate. Their answers were impassioned, detailing the reasoning behind their position. Read on. It’s interesting stuff, whether you’re for it or ‘agin it’
My husband and I moved to
The main thing, though, that qualifies me to join the national debate is that I have read every document, press release and all the Federal Register documents that USDA has issued with regard to NAIS. I even attended, at my own expense, NIAA's ID Expo in 2006 to learn firsthand about the program. It was there that Dr. John Weimers told me personally that he would drive every back road to find every backyard flock and tag each chicken. It was also there that
Q. Doreen, tell me about your background and what are your qualifications to enter this fracas?
Doreen: We own a homestead in South
One thing that helps qualify me to join the national debate is that I have actually read the documents… from the international SPS and TBT and OIE guidelines and discussion drafts down to all of the USDA docs; both the PR firm releases and Federal Register documents as well as the definitions of the terms used in the documents, to be sure that I understand what is being said.
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