Happy New Year, dear readers. Hard to believe it. Just two more years until North American Union is designed to kick in. Read more about it here, a Google News link for North American Union.
But there is something more urgent to tell you about this evening.
Please visit Family Farm Defenders for more information.
The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) recently announced a series of hearings for early Jan. 2008 to receive public comment on their proposal for the next implementation phase of the federal National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in Wisconsin. We strongly encourage folks to participate in these hearings and to spread the word to others who will be affected by this draconian state surveillance program that is unprecedented - at least in U.S. history.
For the official DATCP hearing notice that includes these NAIS provisions,click here
If you can not attend in person, you can also submit written comments to DATCP. Better yet is to contact your elected officials, write a letter to your local paper, call into talk show radio, and otherwise publicly express your opposition to this program. Based upon our experience organizing farmers and their allies, if even one person speaks up there are about a dozen others who feel the same and then find the courage to add their voice, too.
DATCP's Hearing Dates and Locations:
Monday, January 7, 2008 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fox Valley Technical College 1825 N. Bluemound Drive, Room A160 Appleton, WI 54912
Tuesday, January 8, 2008 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection 2811 Agriculture Drive, First Floor – Room 106 (Boardroom) Madison, Wisconsin 53718
Thursday January 10, 2008 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Department of Natural Resources West Central Region Headquarters 1300 W. Clairemont Avenue – Room 158 Eau Claire, WI 54701
As many of you may know, Wisconsin has become a national battleground state on NAIS. DATCP and its partner WLIC (which actually administers the program as a private subcontractor) have received millions in taxpayer funding to bring this program into existence, and now many bureaucratic jobs and corporate contracts depend upon its implementation. When over 10% of WI dairy farmers refused to voluntarily register their premises, the state was unable to make good on their threat to pull milk licenses since the state's economy could not afford to criminalize so many productive farmers overnight.
Nonetheless, DATCP is now denying milk licenses to new dairy farmers, including many Amish who strongly oppose NAIS for religious reasons, even though grass-based Amish dairy operations are one of the fastest growing segments of the entire industry. The proposed rule change would also allow the state to register farmers against their will and without their knowledge.
Worse yet, we know that DATCP/WLIC intend to move towards mandatory RFID chipping, phase two of the federal NAIS program, despite recent scientific studies revealing that RFID chips cause cancer, and thus pose a health threat to both livestock and people. A farmer in MI recently had sheriff deputies under state orders enter his land to place RFID chips in his cattle against his will. And then there is the disturbing story of the Faillace family in VT, documented in the book "Mad Sheep," where a USDA led SWAT team invaded their farm to seize and destroy all of their animals wrongly suspected of harboring some prion type disease.
Family Farm Defenders has been an outspoken critic of NAIS for years now, and recently helped form an organization called Free Wisconsin Pastures with the purpose of filing a lawsuit against DATCP/WLIC if necessary to stop this absurd program from destroying the future of farming in our state.
Of course, we would rather NOT have to take this issue to court, which is why it is so paramount that family farmers and others concerned about the future of agriculture in WI exercise their democratic freedom to express their opinion and let our elected officials and DATCP bureaucrats know that NAIS is not acceptable in any form.