The Voice of Independent Agriculture
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is leading the fight to save family farms and individuals from expensive and unnecessary government regulation. Help us protect our food supply and our liberties!
The National Animal Identification System ("NAIS") poses a serious threat to all farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and companion-animal owners, whether they are organic or conventional, small or large, involved with animals for business or for pleasure. If it is made mandatory, every person with even one horse, cow, chicken, pig, goat, sheep, or virtually any other livestock animal on their premises will be required to register their homes and property into a database and subject their property and animals to government surveillance.
Under the current plans, each animal would have to be identified and physically tagged, in many cases with radio frequency tags or microchips. Factory farms of chickens and swine would be able to identify whole groups of animals with one number, but most regular farmers and individuals would have to identify each animal individually. “Events” in the animal’s life would have to be reported within 24 hours. All of this information will be kept in databases by the state government or private companies, while the federal government will have the right to access the databases as it deems necessary.
Click here to read about the latest developments, updated January 2008.
Although NAIS is voluntary right now in most States, and there are no federal regulations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has stated that it wants every single person who owns even one animal to be involved by 2009. The USDA is funding mandatory and coercive programs in some States, and the program is likely to continue expanding unless Congress and State legislatures put a stop to it.
The NAIS does not distinguish between large corporate factory farms and the smallest family farm, pleasure horse owner, or the grandmother with a few laying hens. The NAIS will drive small and medium-size farmers and ranchers out of business, increasing the consolidation of our food supply into the hands of a few large, multinational corporations. The government is wasting your taxpayer dollars on a program that will lead to increased food prices and decreased quality.
For more information concerning the NAIS or the Farm and anch Freedom Alliance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 687-6452 (toll free).
©2007 Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance · 8308 Sassman Rd · Austin, TX 78747 · Tel.
866.687.6452 · Contact Us
Articles and Newsletters
Latest Alert: January 11, 2008: USDA Plans to Use Breed Registries to Implement NAIS. All of our earlier email alerts are available here. And sign up here for free email alerts.
Since the USDA keeps changing what it says about NAIS, some statements in earlier articles about what NAIS will require may no longer be consistent with the current government statements. Yet many of the key issues remain the same. Government and industry documents are at the end of this page.
Petition for Rule Change (November 2007): Request that the TAHC change its recently-adopted rule requiring the tagging of all dairy cattle.
Microchipping Linked to Cancer: USDA Exposing Your Horse to Cancer? (October 2007): Horses are part of Tier 1 for implementation of NAIS. This article makes a great handout for horse owners to understand the issues.
Comments on Proposed Texas Regulations (July 2007): The Texas Animal Health Commission has proposed regulations to require the tagging of every dairy cow for all intrastate movements. FARFA submitted comments opposing the regulation.
Why the National Animal Identification System Should Not Be Linked to Country of Origin Labeling (May 2007): Big industrial ag groups claim that we need NAIS to have COOL. That just isn't true.
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Position Paper: Ask your association or organization to sign on to this position paper.
FARFA's testimony to the Texas House Commitee on Agriculture (Feb. 2007): Texas Animal Health Commission currently has authority to make NAIS mandatory in Texas. HB 461 would change that.
Update on State Activities (Jan. 2007): Read about what is happening in states across the country, to understand what could happen in your neck of the words. Recent events range from anti-NAIS legislation to pro-NAIS regulations to interesting twists on the existing programs. Specific state updates on Kentucky, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
FARFA's Comments on the USDA's User Guide (Jan. 2007): FARFA's analysis of the flaws with the USDA's November document. (PDF)
Is the National Animal ID System Mandatory or Voluntary? (Jan. 2007): Numerous sources have reported that NAIS is voluntary. But is that really true?
Email exchange (Dec. 2006) with the Executive Director of the Texas Animal Health Commission regarding FARFA's activities and the agency's intentions. Dr. Hillman sent a copy of his original email to several state legislator's aids, making this a matter of public concern.
Overview of NAIS (Nov. 2006): An overview of the issues surrounding NAIS, particularly how it will affect producers and consumers of organic and grass-fed products.
Corporate Control of Our Food Supply (Nov. 2006): Why should every American should care about NAIS? Because NAIS will dramatically affect our food. Next to water and air, there is nothing more basic to our survival and health. Read the article to learn more.
NAIS: The Lack of Science and an Update on Its Status (Oct. 2006): The USDA has failed to conduct either scientific studies or a cost-benefit analysis to support NAIS, as laid out in this article.
Update on the Equine Species Working Group (Oct. 2006): Horse owners are very concerned about the impact of the NAIS, whether they are pleasure horse owners, ropers, barrel racers, or hunter/jumpers. Read about the people making recommendations about how NAIS should apply to horses and what they have recommended.
Perspectives from the NIAA Expo (Oct. 2006): The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is the trade organization that developed the plans for NAIS, building on industry efforts that date back to the late 1980s. the 2006 NIAA Animal ID Expo provided a great opportunity to understand some of the contradictions and gaps in the industry and government PR about NAIS.
The Truth About NAIS and RFID Tags (Sept. 2006) : Will technology make our food supply safer, protect against bioterrorism, and stop horse thieves? Read about some of the problems with the claims made by proponents of the NAIS technology, especially the ISO 11784/85 microchips.
Your Life Under NAIS (Sept. 2006): An article about the day-to-day realities of NAIS.
FARFA's Comments to the Texas Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture (Sept. 2006): FARFA was invited to testify about the NAIS issue and about protecting the State's agriculture.
FARFA's Response to the USDA's Guide for Small and Non-Commercial Producers: In June 2006, the USDA released a document intended to reassure the public that small farmers and people raising food for themselves would not be harmed by the NAIS. A review of the document, however, shows the opposite.
FARFA's Comments to the Sunset Commission (May 2006): The Texas Animal Health Commission is up for Sunset Review in 2007. FARFA’s comments address the agency’s mishandling of the NAIS issue.
FARFA's Complaint Letter to the Extension Service (May 2006): The Texas Extension Service has been promoting premises registration. This letter addresses misinformation presented by Extension Service agents and in its materials and website for four months, from January through April 2006. Note: to FARFA's knowledge, no steps have been taken to notify the individuals who registered their premises based on the incorrect information.
Analysis of the NAIS and Proposed Texas Regulations (April 2006): This article addresses the flaws with the TAHC’s proposed mandatory regulations and the entire NAIS scheme as of April 2006.
Analysis of the Implementation Strategies: On April 6, 2006, USDA released a new document about its goals and plans for NAIS.
Editorial by Ron Freeman exploring the issues from a cattleman's perspective: http://www.cattlerange.com/animal-id/freeman-r.html
Disease Issues: Articles and Reports
Why NAIS Will Not Prevent “Mad Cow Burgers” (May 2006): Proponents claim that the NAIS is necessary to protect us against Mad Cow Disease. Read why the NAIS will do nothing to increase the safety of our food supply.
Read an excellent report on the connection between bird flu and commercial poultry operations. Wild birds and backyard flocks are not the threat! See http://grain.org/nfg/?id=372
"The Price of Cheap Chicken": Wendy Orent, anthropologist and author specializing in pandemics, explores the connection between bird flu and commercial poultry operations. (published Mar. 12, 2006 in the Los Angeles Times).
The connections between bird flu and commercial poultry: http://www.beyondfactoryfarming.org/documents/Avian_Flu_Fact_Sheet.pdf
Government and Industry Documents
Report of the U.S. Animal Health Association (October 2006): Interesting tidbits about the technology have been highlighted. The USAHA's recommendation that USDA adopt an "interim rule" barring interstate commerce from states that do not have mandatory cattle ID for all breeding cattle is also highlighted, on page 14.
Texas Animal Health Commission's 2007 Work Plan for NAIS. We have additional documents relating to the TAHC's Cooperative Agreement with USDA, but they are too large to post on our server. Please contact us if you would like a copy.
©2007 Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance · 8308 Sassman Rd · Austin, TX 78747 · Tel. 866.687.6452 · Contact Us