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National Animal ID System is most serious livestock issue
Letter To Editor

The National Animal Identification System, planned by USDA for many years, is now the most serious issue in history for livestock producers.

The soon to be mandatory procedures require cattle, horses, llamas and all animals to have an identification number placed in the ear or some species may have a computer chip injected under the skin.

The USDA has been presenting this massive undertaking at special listening sessions in nearly every county in the United States.

Livestock producers are being encouraged to sign up their ranches, fairgrounds, auctions, dairies, farms and even backyard 4-H projects, or face fines up to $1,000 for non-compliance.

The USDA website is

Although many animal owners refuse to believe the outlandish demands exacted by the USDA, everyone is urged to read from the actual site to understand the truly atrocious requirements.

The federal government is trampling over state rights to reach a 100 percent animal numbering system to be computer accessed by them. They want to immediately locate and or quarantine as many livestock as they desire to dispose of, or destroy if found to be exposed to a number of known, unknown or suspected diseases. Complicated ... yes it is.

For consideration of costs, a Kansas State University spreadsheet projected $3.43 per head with a herd size of 1250 for one tag, one year.

To amortize the costs to fit average sized herds the cost would be $13.22 each for 125 head, $24.10 each for 62 head, $70.89 each for 20 head and $138.88 each for a ten head herd. The USDA has refused to project costs in their data.

Commingling will be the most confusion of the entire NAIS dream. If several thousand animals were gathered for a major state fair and then separated to other fairs, sales, shows, feed lots, zoos, etc.

The “commingling coefficient” will be mind-boggling. With the NAIS plan these groups could have one diseased animal and it would not only require the quarantine of the original herd, but every animal commingled and associated with a commingling event multiplied by the numbers that were commingled.

With a few shows, rodeos and fairs, millions of horses, cattle and exhibit-quality stock could all be under the same government choke-hold. This is all part of the NAIS protocol of enforcement possibilities. Registered cattle producers, will be forced to record all cattle movements by computer even for a single show on a single day.

Many believe this new burden of bureaucracy will totally eliminate the smaller livestock shows, rodeos, fairs, gymkhanas, livestock auctions and even FFA or 4-H events.

It will benefit every animal producer to contact the Federal and State Secretary of Agriculture, State Veterinarian, Governor, Senators, State Represen-tatives, etc., and discourage their support and implementation of this poorly advised, expensive legislation. The assessment of fees, penalties and complications of the program far outweigh any possible benefit.

For more information on the complicated NAIS Commingling check:

This farm news was published in the April 5, 2006 issue of Farm World.