March 11, 2009

House Subcommittee on Livestock Public Hearing

Follows is from one of our intrepid anti-NAIS fighters, cattle rancher Darol Dickinson
. I hope you remembered to listen to the subcommittee's hearing. The deck was stacked. The chairman was hostile. They continue to believe NAIS is about food safety.

House Committee on Agriculture~~Public Hearing.

Darol Dickinson~~reporting

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, Longworth House Office Bldg.
Re: To review animal identification systems

Washington DC---at 10:00 AM the first public hearing was held on USDA's proposed NAIS animal numbering and enforcement plan. Numerous organizations were frustrated that no public forum was provided in the last six years to approach elected officials concerning this polarizing strategy. Livestock producers all over the US were excited about this opportunity to present opposition to NAIS. Recent polls have revealed that over 90% of livestock owners, if given a choice, would not enroll property in NAIS.

For starters, USDA organized the format with eight approved speakers who were required to submit a written text prior to their presentation.

Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator, APHIS was given the floor with unlimited dialog time to explain the imperative nature of NAIS. Committee members not familiar with livestock were provided written questions to ask Clifford. He is an employee of USDA and his job approval has to do with selling NAIS. He alleged the cost of NAIS would be as little as a half cent per cow. He also alleged volunteer NAIS property enrollment was 35% of the US livestock producers and later a different sworn testimony stated sign up was as small at 9% in some states. (Nationally NAIS enrollment is under 10% when accurate numbers are calculated.)

Bill Nutt, of Georgia Cattleman's Assn testified that the current numbering systems used by livestock owners were totally adaquate for all animal ID. NAIS enforements were not necessary. (5 minutes allowed)

Dr. R.M. (Max) Thornsberry DVM, President of R-Calf, written testamony attached. He stated NAIS was not necessary, not wanted by the majority of livestock producers and the proposed plan would not make meat food safer. (allowed 5 minutes)

Three other individuals testified for NAIS who were licensed by USDA, under the authority or had been given grant money by USDA.

Dr. Rob Williams of Australia testified how the Australian animal ID system worked well. He did not state that in Australia livestock breeders dislike the cost of their NLIS system because they can not compete in the world market with countries who don't force a numbering compliance. NLIS is considered by producers in Australia to be detrimental to world competitive trade for Australia. Australia has a 100% numbering scheme and their beef is the second lowest priced on the world market.

Kerry St. Cyr of Canada Cattle Identification Agency is employed by the Canadian numbering scheme and his salary depends on it's continuation. Canada also can compete against US meat products better if US has the cost burden of NAIS.

Today NAIS was judged by our elected leaders. USDA selected their own jury, and determined how many minutes each testified. The testamonies, much like speed dating, gave little time for serious evaluation.
Please see the attached [it is not attached, click here to go to the House Ag Committee's statements webpage - Hen] by Dr. Thornsberry who represented the over 3,000,000 livestock producers who are apalled by the NAIS. This is the R-CALF USA's written and oral testimony's on NAIS which was not allowed enough time to complete. The oral is the shorter version.
Please contact your elected officials to oppose this flawed program.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Are there certain representatives that are on a committee for NAIS? Or will just any representative do? Thanks for all you do to fight NAIS. -Sandy


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