January 20,2009 for public release from NAFAW.

The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) has stirred up a hornet’s nest of problems for the USDA. Dislike for the program is multiplying daily by klans of all flavors.


Citing the abject failure of a similar program in Australia, the total costs dumped on livestock producers, and voicing concerns about individual property rights, opponents have demanded the program be totally abolished.


On the other hand, the USDA claims it needs to be able to move fast in case of an outbreak of disease. At first blush it sure sounds fine and good, until you consider that people are in the middle of a major epidemic on US dairy farms, and the USDA hasn’t moved at all to stop it. Is there a tiny touch of hypocrisy showing between the lines?


Unsolved Multiplication


Sixty-eight percent of all dairy cows in America are infected with an always fatal disease called Johnes (pronounced yo knees).


In 2004 the USDA estimated the infection rate to be at 20%. Today, 68% of the nation’s dairy herds are comingled with Johne’s positive cows, a three-fold increase in only four years, but the USDA doesn’t feel the need to mandate an eradication program. Why? The USDA appears fine with this epidemic, and refuses any serious dialogue about the subject. The USDA, with their own data, estimates an annual financial loss as a result of Johne’s in dairy herds to be $200,000,000. For one year the Johne’s loss is nearly as much as USDA has invested in promoting NAIS during the past 6 years. This annual loss is more than 1000% over the eradication costs of the US Avian Influenza fiasco, a statistic USDA tosses out to tout the serious need of a NAIS mandatory system.


USDA is not totally avoiding Johne’s. A small budget is allocated for research, public awareness and informational press releases on how to manage a dairy with Johne’s. Just peanuts!


So, if the USDA is aware of the Johne’s epidemic, why aren’t they focusing their efforts in that direction? If you think it’s because Johne’s doesn’t affect humans, think again. Reliable information connects Johne’s with Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s Disease, virtually unheard of in 1940, was on the rise by 1950, about the same time as the concept of factory farming showed up on the scene. Today, a generation later, up to two million US citizens and even more Canadians are infected. Most cases of Crohn’s Disease are diagnosed in children, who will suffer a life of physical misery because of the debilitating symptoms for which there are treatments, but no cures. The stark similarities of each disease causes knowledgeable scientist to be certain that once bovine Johne’s is eleminated, the same process can be effective to solve the human coequal.




The symptoms of Johne’s Disease in dairy cows are identical to the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in humans:

* Persistent diarrhea

* Abdominal cramps and pain

* Fever

* Fatigue

* Rectal bleeding

* Loss of appetite

* Joints, eye, skin, and liver pain

* Obstruction of the intestine

* Development of fissures (small cuts or tears in the anal canal)

* Abscesses

There is no cure for Johne’s or Crohn’s. Fortunately for people, there are treatments. Cows aren’t so fortunate. Johne’s is always fatal, with death coming in slow, painful extended waves.


What Causes Johne’s Disease?

Johne’s is contracted by ingesting feces from infected animals. Animals who are raised on clean grass pastures seldom get infected. This is where a mix happens. Dairy herds are often mixed with beef cattle herds to provide a more diverse farm income. Many beef herds with Johne’s have traced their infected stock back to dairy raised purchases.

Today Johne’s is found in beef herds but with lower percentages than dairys.


If the USDA and corporate proponents of the NAIS were sincere in their concerns about disease, they’d at least exhibit a good faith effort about Johne’s that is rapidly consuming America’s highly productive dairy cows. The most costly disease of our day appears to have the urgency of watching paint dry. USDA’s rubber neck attack on Johne’s shows one of the most milk-toast approaches to disease eradication in the history of USDA. Only two things are needed to permanently deal with Johne’s, one fool-proof vaccination and one fool-proof negative/positive test method. At this time neither appear to be a consideration or priority to USDA. They are totally consumed in promoting NAIS premises permanent enrollment.


How to Locate Infected Herds?


Is locating infected herds a problem with Johne’s? Perhaps a test—-if it was announced that a vaccine and valid test method has been developed, cattle owners would stampede to use it. USDA will not have any problem locating herds. The owners of infected cattle are the first to be concerned and promptly notify health professionals. As long as USDA procrastinates on a good-faith attempt to deal with Johne’s disease, anything they say about their “come hell or high water” premises enrollment is totally and completely bogus! It will be impossible to convince livestock producers that premises enrollment will do a “gnats bristle” of good to

eleminate disease when Johne’s is not a priority USDA issue. Until USDA can clean up this mess, I’ll be hard to convince producers that USDA can do better with the

quackery of a costly NAIS.


More info: http://www.naisSTINKS.com, http://www.libertyark.net, http://www.FarmAndRanchFreedom.org.

Quotes and data provided by Countryside, Peggy Steward, Jerri, Darol Dickinson, and Jim Silwa. Thank you.