The Senate Agriculture Committee has just released the draft language of the Farm Bill, which will be discussed by the Committee tomorrow. The bad news is that the Livestock Title includes the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)! Senator Harkin has included a provision that defines NAIS and addresses confidentiality of the information collected under it. This section implies approval of the USDA’s program, without addressing the many problems with NAIS, including the USDA’s misleading and coercive tactics.
TAKE ACTION: Call the Senators listed below. Ask to speak to the staffer who handles agricultural issues, not just the front desk.
MESSAGE: I want section 10305 taken out of the Farm Bill. I do not want NAIS included in the Farm Bill in any manner at all. While we appreciate Senator Harkin trying to protect people’s privacy, the provision does more harm than good. The Senate should not imply approval for any form of federally planned or funded NAIS.
Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of Agriculture Committee
Senator Saxby Chambliss, Ranking Member (R-GA)
Go to www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
or call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll free at 877-851-6437
For more information, contact judith (at) farmandranchfreedom.org or call the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance at 866-687-6452.
Calls to other members of the Agriculture Committee are most effective when they come from people within the state the Senator represents. But, as Committee members, they are supposed to take input from anyone. If you have extra time after calling your Senators, Senator Harkin, and Senator Chambliss, call the other members, listed below. And pass this on to your friends and relatives in those states!
Other Members of the Committee:
Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-4242
Kent Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043
Max Baucus (D-MT) 202-224-2651
Blanch Lincoln (D-AR) 202-224-4843
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 202-224-4822
Ben Nelson (D-NE) 202-224-6551
Ken Salazar (D-CO) 202-224-5852
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) 202-224-2315
Robert Casey (D-PA) 202-224-6324
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) 202-224-3244
Richard Lugar (R-IN) 202-224-4814
Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 202-224-2541
Pat Roberts (R-KS) 202-224-4774
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972
Norm Coleman (R-MN) 202-224-5641
Mike Crapo (R-ID) 202-224-6142
John Thune (R-SD) 202-224-2321
Charles Grassley (R-IA) 202-224-3744
Section 10305 of the draft Farm Bill provides:
Sec. 10305: Protection of Information in the Animal Identification System:
The Animal Health Protection Act (7 USC 8301 et seq.) is amended … by inserting … the following:
(a) Definition of National Animal Identification System – In this section, the term “national animal identification system” means a system for identifying or tracing animals that is established by the Secretary,
(b) Protection from Disclosure ….
For the full provision, go to http://agriculture.senate.gov/ and follow the links for the Farm Bill.
Please do not put any provision for NAIS in the Farm Bill. It is not right to insert a section to address confidentiality of information collected under NAIS, without addressing the myriad abuses that USDA has committed under the program.
NAIS will hurt our economy:
* There still is no cost-benefit analysis of NAIS. USDA has only recently requested one from Kansas State University. The study is unlikely to be a thorough or unbiased study, given that Kansas State has just established a federally-funded Animal Identification Center.
* Costs of the program include the cost of the tags, hardware, software, time and labor
* Many small farmer and ranchers cannot afford these costs
* Service providers (veterinarians, feed stores, auction houses, meat processors, etc.) will be harmed when the farmers and ranchers go out of business.
Remaining farmers will pass the costs on to consumers, adding to inflation
The USDA has provided no scientific proof to show that NAIS will improve disease control:
* It does not address the cause, treatment, or transmission of disease, in domestic or wild animals.
* It does not significantly improve on current methods for identification and tracking of disease.
NAIS is not necessary for the market. Age- and source-verification is already available through the USDA’s Process Verified Program
NAIS will not improve food safety:
* USDA itself has stated that this is not a food safety program
* Contamination of food with e. coli and other bacteria occurs at the slaughterhouse or afterwards, while NAIS will stop before that point.
NAIS will not protect against terrorism:
* The microchips chosen by the state can be cloned, destroyed, or infected with computer viruses, and reprogrammed. Any terrorist or thief can use this.
* The database of information, created by the state agency and available to USDA, will provide a target for hackers.
NAIS infringes on people’s constitutional rights, including due process, privacy, and religious freedom.