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Animal Identification : It’s Baaaaack

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Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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“One should not forget however that NAIS still exists, just with an exciting new name : Animal Disease Traceability Framework or whatever it is being called this week.”

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In what has to be one of the most laughable complaints to emerge from the UK in the past month (besides the “hat wars” at the Royal Wedding of course Dahling), there is “dismay” from the National Farm Union over a program remarkably similar to the now defunct National Animal Identification System.

The British equivalent of The Farm Bureau here Stateside, not so long ago words emerged from the leadership as to the effect of EID on the Brit’s Livestock Industry. Livestock Board Chairman Mackintosh says:

 “As a sheep producer myself I fully understand the threat to our industry that EID poses. The Board and I will do everything within our powers to delay implementation of EID until a workable and crucially a cost effective solution can be found taking into account decisions already made at an EU level,” he said.

Oh complaints have been made over the years before the implementation, but the EU continued to “encourage” participation while ensuring that all the concerns would be taken into consideration. Of course small-scale livestock producers have been fighting since 2003 against this program (see here a short synopsis), but now the “Big Boys” are a bit miffed. One wonders why?

Well first look at the little list of what must be done to “comply”:

Tag facts

• All sheep born or first tagged from 1 January 2010 (new sheep) must be identified with two identifiers bearing the same number

• Sheep still do not have to be tagged until they are nine months old or until they are being moved off the holding, whichever is the sooner The colour of the new EID tags and the matching conventional tags is yellow, but sheep producers may choose a different colour for the matching conventional tag if useful for on-farm management purposes

• Older sheep don’t have to be upgraded to EID if they don’t leave the holding and carry at least one old green tag More

Ohio: Issue # 2 creates unlimited, uncontolled power to Livestock Care Standards Board

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IMG_0003We agree with and support the premise of issue 2 but not as a constitutional amendment.

The same objective to thwart PETA and HSUS could have been accomplished by including the key words “agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being” in section 900 of the Ohio Revised Code. This we do support.

Our problem with this constitutional amendment is the excessive power it places in the hands of a 13-member group of non-elected bureaucrats. This constitutional amendment places in the Board’s hands the power to mandate whatever they choose, and it is the Department of Ag that will implement and enforce those decisions of the Board. (see the text of proposed amendment at  The text of the amendment includes “consider factors that include, but are not limited to,” which gives the Board authority far beyond the scope of its stated purpose. In the text “agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being” is the part that will thwart HSUS and their cronies. “Biosecurity,” “disease prevention,” “animal morbidity and mortality data,” “food safety practices,” and “the protection of local, affordable food supplies” are already covered in Ohio Revised Code. More

Greediest Corporate Agribusiness Move We’ve Ever Seen!

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The Greediest Corporate Agribusiness Move We’ve Ever Seen!
Help us defeat Issue 2 and the corporate takeover in Ohio
 

October 1, 2009 
 
In the most ambitious power grab we’ve ever seen, corporate agribusiness proponents are trying to write themselves into the Ohio constitution.  Technically the product of the Ohio General Assembly, the ballot issue is heavily backed by groups representing major agribusiness interests, including the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Pork Producers Council, and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. While masquerading as an attempt to improve food safety and animal welfare, Issue 2 would give a board of political appointees unchecked power to decide any and all regulations related to animal agriculture. The board could make decisions that would radically shift policy in any direction and would not require any public input process. This could include decisions on issues like the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, genetically engineered animals, cloned animals, animal ID and traceability, and factory farm zoning reguations.
Thanks for taking action,                    

    
 

Sarah Alexander, Senior Organizer
Food & Water Watch
goodfood(at)fwwatch.org

 

 

 

The proponents of Issue 2 literally will be the foxes guarding the henhouse if Issue 2 passes, and they’re running a multi-million dollar campaign to make sure this happens.  Worse yet, their slick campaign tries to trick voters into thinking that Issue 2 will support safe, local food from small farmers.  We need you to help us get the truth out about Issue 2 and stop this greedy power grab in the Ohio Constitution.  Help us spread the word about Issue 2 and Vote NO on November 3rd!

 

 

We need your help to stop factory farms from being written into the Ohio constitution.

Ohio could become the first state to have corporate agribusiness acting as judge, jury and executioner for all animal agriculture rules and regulations.  Who do you think their rules will favor?  Safe, local, sustainable agriculture, or the more than 200 factory farms already in the state?  We’re hoping not to find out.  That’s why Food & Water Watch is working on behalf of our 5,000 Ohio supporters to Oppose Issue 2.  Can you help us defeat Issue 2 in Ohio?

 

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

 

Jackass Alert! USDA: Oh no you didn’t!

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PPJG original post.  Author: Marti Oakley © August 22, 2009 4:23 pm cst

This is such a crock even I can’t believe it.  This is the actual public statement by USDA claiming they heard substantial support for NAIS/Premises ID.  What were these people smoking? 

getimage~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Officials with the Department of Agriculture said they heard

substantial support for animal disease traceability during a series of

public meetings but many animal owners indicated concerns. Cost,

privacy, bureaucracy, liability in the event of a disease outbreak,

and the religious implications of such animal identification are

behind ongoing opposition to the department’s National Animal

Identification System.” More

NAIS~~~ the Deterioration of Earned Respect

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From: Darol Dickinson
Barnesville, Ohio 43713
740 758 5050 5-28-09

by Darol Dickinson


Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Trailer with noosesThe entry of the USDA Colorado listening session was jammed with sign covered livestock trailers. Members of the Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Assn. were pawing the dirt about the possible mandatory NAIS. Well over 90% of the speakers were opposed to the feared program. Many had driven a full day to be able to speak 3 serious minutes to USDA staff.

Nearly 5 years ago I attended my first county NAIS listening session. I heard a detailed presentation by a professionally trained USDA state director. About 40 people crowded into a small room in a government building during the dark of an early winter evening. I knew the state NAIS director and had been in an Ohio Cattlemen’s Assn. policy committee meeting with him. I had a high respect and appreciation for his fairness, knowledge and livestock experience.

The state Farm Bureau director was present and assured everyone NAIS was the right thing to do.

As the NAIS program was laboriously presented, the hair bristled on my neck like a Michael Vick dog challenged by a common alley cat. In respect for the presenter, I did not jump to my feet and scream fowl play. I listened until his whole load of hay was forked to the herd.

Over a dozen points were eloquently presented. You could hear a pin drop in a room full of hard working Ohio livestock people who weren’t easily snookered.

We were told, NAIS would not be a choice. It was going to happen. NAIS would create increased livestock profit for those who promptly enrolled. Those who did not enroll would suffer losses–not the fault of USDA. We were duly warned! Without NAIS the export markets would promptly dry up for US livestock producers. If anthrax disease was introduced to the US livestock industry by terrorist, it would destroy all US agriculture. If foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was introduced by terrorist it would engulf whole states overnight and wipe out the livestock industry. Then he said the Mad Cow media event in Washington state was the explosive reason NAIS was created by USDA — to protect all concerned.

After the meeting the largest commercial cattle producer in the county signed up his premises. He had several ranches leased so he enrolled multiple premises. Another dozen people were quickly enrolled.

Most, either in western hats or bibbed overalls knew the successful USDA history. Attendees had the ultimate respect for USDA’s eradication of bangs disease, screw worms, and numerous other livestock pearls including scabies and FMD. No country had ever attacked and successfully cleaned up livestock diseases like the USA. This country has the most disease free livestock in the world. There was a great respect for USDA’s efforts and an earned position of world honor.

The following day I called the resident director at Texas A & M Research and Extension Center in Uvalde, Texas. (Many livestock diseases had hovered near the Mexican boarder.) I was told yes, that anthrax was a problem but for eighty cents per dose stock could be vaccinated and there would be no losses. It was done all the time in that area. I was also told that FMD was eliminated in 1929 and was not in the US or Mexico at this time. FMD would not kill normal healthy cattle and the meat was edible without harm to people. A vaccine is also available for FMD, if any people are concerned.

With some shocking research, the Mad Cow event was not the origin of NAIS. Meetings behind closed doors to plan NAIS had previously happened for over a dozen years. Unpublicized meetings prior to 1994 included Neil Hammerschmidt, now with APHIS, Ken Olson of American Farm Bureau, Beth Lautner with the National Pork Producers Council, John Weimers, with USDA, Chuck Sattler with the National Assn. of Animal Breeders, Glen Slack of the Livestock Conservation Institute, David Nolan of Cargill, and several tag companies were represented including Glenn Fisher of Allflex. Like hungry lions fighting over fresh kill, NAIS was carefully planned many years prior to the Mad Cow event and an equal number of years before the British FMD fiasco.

NAIS was planned without a valid cause, then, as disease was found; disease became the cause.

NAIS is a hard sell. Congress has approved nearly $150,000,000 to promote and enroll livestock breeders. Cooperative agreement grants have been given to state departments of agriculture, universities, tribes, livestock breed associations and a cast of thousands licensed or funded by USDA. Never in history has an unpopular government program been funded so strong with only minuscule acceptance. As of today less than 10% of all livestock producers have surrendered to NAIS premises enrollment.

One year ago, Mike Johanns gave up. After spending nearly 3 years promoting NAIS, the Bush Sec. of Agriculture wrote his boss a letter of resignation, and dropped it in the mail box on his way to the parking lot. No two week or one month courtesy notice was given. He evaporated out of Washington DC with the same dignity a common thug would offer the owner of a low stakes cock fight ring.

From USDA’s world respect in disease eradication, it is now totally changing to a sad ending of political bribery, distrust, and a cowering staff of “bought” white shirted degrees.

USDA planned to grasp every livestock producer by 2008. It started with listening sessions in every state. Now the big guns have rolled out meetings all over the nation. The rural peasants are allowed to assert their three minute views for refusing to enroll in NAIS. Regional town hall type meetings are staffed with seasoned “listeners” such as Hammerschmidt, Dicks, and Weimers. A “low-tech” video of Sec of Agruculture Tom Vilsack is used to warm up a hardened crowd.

As USDA’s respect dwindles, cowboys, consumers, and all types of food producers are participating in the national “mud-throwing” sessions. The recent Colorado session gave USDA “listeners” an atmosphere less friendly than a Birney Madoff investor’s meeting.

As USDA team members and security guards entered the Colorado meeting hall cattle trailers, angry ranchers and signs of protest decorated the area. Quite conspicuous were the hangman’s nooses with signs–“FREE ROPES FOR USDA NAIS OFFICIALS! NO NAIS! HEY USDA–“DON’T TREAD ON ME!

Police, ordered by USDA, demanded all hangman’s nooses be removed from the property –“it was threatening violence.” One law enforcer said he thought the nooses were rather humorous, considering the cause.

As federales and farmers mumbled into the trouncing room, each person was given a real set of amputated rattlers from a Colorado rattle snake. People of the land were as serious as a snake bite about ending all plans of mandatory NAIS. As occasional rattling sounds were numerous, it made an eerie sound like no other listening session in history. The nooses were serious, as were the venomous steel eyed ranchers defending their livelihoods.

The Colorado spirit became more hostile. Over 90% spoke against NAIS, the same as previous sessions. Those speaking for NAIS were connected in every case by generous grants from USDA for the sole purpose of coercing enrollments.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Trailer with noosesUSDA official listeners were greeted by numerous livestock trailers covered by home made signs clearly displaying opposition to NAIS. Hangman’s nooses made the basic statement from cattle owners to the feds. “FREE ROPES FOR USDA NAIS OFFICIALS.” USDA security guards were required to strip the nooses off as it was thought they indicated “VIOLENCE AND CROWD DISORDER.” It was too late. The true dead serious message was already expressed.

Chuck Sylvester, past CEO of the huge National Western Stock Show, was inflamed because Colorado State University, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (recipients of $4,746,993 of NAIS grant money) had forced youth exhibitors at the Colorado State Fair to enroll their parent’s ranches in NAIS. He compared USDA to child molesters and pedophiles. He closed with a stern, “MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS!”

With dozens of red faced presenters the tone changed from the problem of NAIS to the cause of NAIS–USDA itself. Kansas rancher Mike Callicrate said, “I think we need to have a cleansing at USDA and it has to go deep, and the disease we need cleansing from USDA is corporate control–people who have gotten into USDA. We need to assess whether USDA has done their job? If USDA was to protect the food system –you are FIRED! If USDA is supposed to make sure family farmers have access to local markets, and the people who they know–you are also FIRED!”

The sessions originally designed to help USDA fine tune NAIS, completely backfired. The flaws are going beyond NAIS to the inner bowels of USDA. Quotes like, “We need to go to Washington with our pitch forks!” “If NAIS becomes mandatory there will be blood in the streets!”

And last, “We will fight NAIS to the death!”

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