Wisconsin Department of Ag wants to further criminalize farmers, and some farmers are willing to stand up and say that DATCP is violating constitutional rights by implementing NAIS. Countless refuse to cave, many are hiding in order to follow their personal, and religious rights by refusing to sign up for Premises ID, the first step in the National Animal ID System (NAIS). Amish are selling the herds and stopping farming rather than comply. While my family had been producing food for others, we had to stop in Jan 2006 because of NAIS implementation in WI. Now, even producing food for ourselves without submitting to NAIS in Wisconsin under an unconstitutional law is a crime.
The state legislature gave full authority to the DATCP to create exemptions based on size and type of farm (WI Statute 95.51 [3m]). The Dept of Ag continues to LIE to us and tell us that they want to protect us from disease, yet state statute 95.52 does not mention disease, let alone prevent or protect against it. They will argue repeatedly that they want 48 hour traceback in case of disease, but that is only after you or your animals are ill. They flatly refuse to allow testing for BSE ("mad cow" or other diseases at slaughter, and this law is the first of it's kind in the country, based on USDA rules, to pass as law.
Ag Secretary Nilsestuen says unequivocally in a Sept 2005 letter to the US House of Representatives, "We support the use of RFID technology in all livestock species as deemed effective and appropriate by the NAIS Working Species Groups". He wants all working species to be microchipped and has not recanted this statement in spite of a recent New York Times article that cites numerous studies of RFID tags causing cancer in animals.
What makes Premises ID most appalling is that WI DATCP does not keep the info it receives, they send it along to the Agribusiness Old Boys Network, alive and well and risking your health and safety in WI. Should you sign up, all information gets turned over to a private interest group, the WLIC. A group made up of Cargill, Equity, Digital Angel, Breeding Groups and microchip companies keeps the info.
You can send your comments to: By email to Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org and include subject line Proposed Changes to ATCP 10, 12 and 17 – Wisconsin’s Animal Health Rules. and tell them that they can no longer get away with tracking and usurping our property rights.
I would like to urge this board to exercise extreme caution. By even considering signing people up against our own volition for the National Animal Identification System, you are walking on a micro-thin line.
As individuals, I would like you to remember that you also enjoy these same protections afforded under the constitution of the United States, and the Wisconsin State Constitution, both of which grant us liberty to free exercise of religion, the right to the use of our name, our papers, and personal property. As a citizen, I promise you that were something this egregious to threaten your rights by another agency, that I would stand beside you and fight with you to maintain those rights.
As a board, I want to remind you that you represent the state, and by considering these measures, the state is usurping personal rights and responsibilities from us as private individuals. I can think of no worse violation that I have personally faced in my life. If you make this move you will be criminalizing freedom, and countless will be forced to chose between obeying the state and obeying their beliefs. This is a fundamental outrage, and a decision that you should not have the authority to even consider.
I think I speak for a majority here when I say that you do not have my consent to sign me, my family or my property up for any program.
With that in mind, I would additionally remind you that we are also aware of the truth. This is not about animal disease; this does nothing to prevent disease, nothing to treat it, and doesn't even address it. Saying it over and over and sending it out in a “media blitz” does not make it true. By using semantics in press releases that are half truths, and lying repeatedly, you do the public a grave disservice.
The National Animal ID System has three steps, the first is Premises ID, the second is tagging all animals, and the third is tracking all animals. The statute 95.51 (3m) allows for exemptions but there are none created. Rather than consider this, DATCP goes to the opposite extreme and now wants to sign up individuals who disagree without consent. A person who owns one livestock animal or more must register with the Wisconsin Livestock ID Consortium, WLIC, not DATCP. WLIC has contracted with DATCP and maintains the database. DATCP also contracts with the USDA to implement NAIS.
WLIC sends the information to Colorado to the USDA database, and registrants are given a US PIN code that is unique to the property. It stays with the property, and there is no way to remove it from either database. The PIN can be inactivated, but records cannot be expunged. Even though it is "confidential" all licenses held (i.e. Milk Producer Licenses) and County Fair attendees, have the US PIN attached and printed on them and are required at most county fairs. Milk Licenses are available in open records requests. This cannot, then, be confidential.
Background Nationally: In 1988, the Livestock Conservation Institute (LCI) hosted the International Livestock Identification Symposium, long before the first outbreak of BSE ("mad cow") was reported in the US. LCI is the predecessor of NIAA, National Institute of Animal Agriculture, and their membership parallels the membership in the WLIC. In 2002 ID/INFO EXPO, hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (LCI’s successor). "Highlights" of that meeting included a report from the WLIC. This presentation, by Neil Hammerschmidt, now with the USDA and then COO of WLIC, stressed the importance of cooperation on identification and more importantly how it was being accomplished in Wisconsin. The National Identification Development Team, established in early 2002 by NIAA, presented the first preliminary draft of what later would be known as the U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP) and is now NAIS. This is two full years before the law was passed in WI.
Background in WI:
In 2002 WLIC set up shop in WI with a $3.75 M USDA grant procured in part by Herb Kohl. Senator Kohl has Kim Cates as his Agricultural aide, and she is married to Dick Cates, of the DATCP board. WLIC has received (according to their 990s) several millions of dollars to date. ($1.75M in 2007 according to the Cooperative Agreement)
The USDA moved NAIS from Mandatory to Voluntary in 2005 because of public outcry, but in WI, the Premises ID law had already been passed before the spring of 2004. We were the first, and it was passed in just over two months, by telephone vote (according to a taped comment April 25th, 2007 made by Al Ott, Chair Assembly Ag Committee).
Farmers Union and Farm Bureau are members of WILC, M&I Bank, Digital Angel, Allflex, Cargill, and as I continually state, it is a huge conflict of interest for them and to be members. Biotech companies like ABS Global are additional members. They also have ex offico members who include DATCP Board members, the WI state vets, Eihlenfeldt and McGraw, and USDA officials. A former original member is State Rep. Gary Tauchen who also sat on the Assembly Ag Committee. There are in fact 6 RFID tags that are approved by WLIC/NAIS at this time: 2 manufactured by Allflex, 2 by Digital Angel, 1 by Y-Tex and 1 by Global Animal Management. All four are WLIC members. Does everyone see how it is easy realize the fact that this is a conspiracy?
Secretary Nilsestuen's comments at the US House Ag Committee meeting in Sept of 2005 which completely contradict his statements in his May 1, 2007 press release and in the State Journal, because what DATCP does is send the same information out over and over just to different places. The secretary stated that he and DATCP "support the use of RFID technology in all livestock species as deemed effective and appropriate by the NAIS Species Working Groups." So yes, RFID tagging is next, and is already underway if you look at the WLIC web site.
A copy of the Cooperative Agreement between the USDA and DATCP, names Dr. Weimers as the National Animal ID Coordinator. The USDA website confirms that Asst. State Vet Paul McGraw, sitting right here, is the NAIS Administrator to the State of Wisconsin. It's listed also listed on the USDA website.
I don’t see any difference in this than if Merck, Pfiser, Abbot Labs, were to get together with RFID companies, the CDC and NIH and FDA to implement a national database on our children and microchip them all after they have been vaccinated, then bribe the states with tax money to set up a database which would be maintained by the pharmaceutical companies and other private interest corporations.
I fear that we as a race are doomed if you continue on this course, and again urge you to approach this as humans.
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