Saturday, February 20, 2010

A horse turd by any other name is still a horse turd

You may have heard people celebrating lately that NAIS (National Animal ID System) has been dropped by the USDA.  People are happy that there will not be an NAIS System. Unfortunately all the USDA did was change the name to Animal Disease Traceablity Network (ADTN). The USDA states that they have put to much tax payer money into the program to scrap it completely so they are renaming it and keep going on in the same manner. They spent 142 Million dollars on a program that was hated and opposed by horse owners and livestock ranchers all across the country. They can't let that money go to waste even though the money they wasted was on a totally unconstitutional program that violated MULTIPLE constitutional rights of US citizens. 

As an article in the Texas Farm Bureau shows here they intend to keep portions of the old NAIS. 

"Using some of the elements from the existing NAIS system is crucial, USDA reported in its question and answer compilation about the new traceability program.
"Considering the significant investment of taxpayer money, it would be irresponsible to completely disregard all elements of NAIS," Edgar said."

They continue to force register individuals into the programs. All horse owners who got coggins test for your horse within the last year were AUTOMATICALLY registered into NAIS maybe even with out your knowledge or approval.  Remember NAIS was a VOLUNTARY program and yet individuals have been force registered for years. The State of Idaho force registered all ranchers and cattlemen who renewed their brand applications.

Horse owners don't think you will get out of this new program. The new approach is directed at interstate commerce. That means if you sell a horse across the state lines you would be required to be linked into the new system. There is also speculation that interstate commerce could be interpreted as horse shows, horse racing, and competitions designed to increase the value of your horse for breeding or sales purposes. That means any competitions that you enter outside of your home state could lead to you being enrolled in the new ADTN. If you own a stallion and ship semen for breeding you are conducting interstate commerce and as such could be subjected to the new ADTN. 

For more information on the new program see the following links
Food Safety News


  1. The cattle industry has had this type of thing in place for years .I may have the unpopular vote her , but as I understand the program it is not the end of the world.(at least as I understands the program here in Canada) that said I don't actually love the govt getting involved in yet another area of our livestock management and the cost to the producer is often prohibitive

  2. The Canadian version as I understand it is also totally different than what the USDA in America has been trying to do. The Canadian one does not force livestock owners to tract ALL movements of your animals off the farm correct?
    The USDA version would have you register your home. farm or any land that you keep livestock on with the Government and then require you to report movements of your animals off that property.

    Additionally the Cattle producers here are up in arms not because of the requirement to ID animals, but the requirement that Does NOT take into consideration the ID (AKA Brand laws) that have been in place in some states for more than 100 years.

    Additionally the Canadian Equine ID program decided that individual ID of all horses was not currently necessary and they did take into consideration different forms of ID to include Tatoos, Microchips and brands where as the USDA format was to be a one size fits all and every horse in the country would be required to be microchipped even if they already held other forms of ID such as a Tatoo or a brand.

  3. So far we do have premises ID , but as far as tracking stock off home property ,Only for the purpose of sale of stock . The animals transported must be identified on a livestock manifest if transported on any public road. But Micro chipping is not yet being pushed for ID purposes . Sounds like a bit of overkillon the part of the US govt . I guess I like the KISS theory (keep it simple sweetie) when it comes to govt involvment in livestock production. None of the measures they are hoping to enforce will impact things like BSE . Just make it easier to cast blame away

  4. we use currently a CCIA (Canadian Cattle Identification? ) button tag. and ear tag with a bar code on it ,which is honestly useless as tits on a bucket (sorry) they are rotten for falling out ,and each tag you replace requires separate documentation ,we tend to tag em on the way on to the truck because of this ,while on farm they have a regular old ear tag marked and color coded for the year of birth

  5. NAIS for livestock owners seems to be just as much of a headache as CPSIA is for small and medium scale children's products manufacturers. Hopefully they'll both get fixed and/or scrapped soon!

  6. I can't stand govt intervention in private farms. Will this also affect backyard farmers with personal small flocks of chickens, goats, sheep and llamas, too? bleh!


  7. Lisa,

    The USDA has been deceptive in the past and this new ADTN is just another one of those deceptions. Here they claim that it will not be for the individual with small flocks and yet they state it will be based on Interstate commerce. If you purchase one animal out of state then that is interstate commerce. That means if you purchase your flock of chickens from an out of state hatchery, you have just entered into an interstate commerce trade for your small farm. And that will also remain the same for sheep, goats, horses, and llamas. Basically under the Interstate commerce clause, you could not go to Texas to find your perfect horse and bring it home without being affected by the ADTN. Since the USDA is gong to take nother 18 months or so to sort out all the details, we will just have to wait and see. But I sure don't think it will be any good.