Friday, January 11, 2008

USDA Plans to Use Breed Registries to Implement NAIS

USDA Plans to Use Breed Registries to Implement NAIS
USDA plans to use breed associations to force NAIS registrations, beginning as early as March 2008, less than two months from now. USDA's Business Plan calls for breed registries to start using an official Animal Identification Number, or "AIN" in their registry. And since you must first register your property in NAIS before you can obtain an AIN, this could effectively implement the first two stages of NAIS for anyone in those registries!
The breed registries for cattle, horses, sheep, and goats are potential targets, but the Plan does not indicate which breed registries have agreed to implement NAIS.
Take Action: Contact your breed association or other livestock registry and find out if it will be implementing USDA's Plan.
Ask the registry:
Do you plan to require members to use the USDA's 15-digit Animal Identification Number (AIN) to enter or maintain animals in your registry?
Do you plan to require members to use the State's or USDA's premises registration system in order to obtain a breed registration number?
Can you please confirm the registry's intentions in writing?
Tell them that you do not want them to be a tool for implementing the government's plan for NAIS!
Next Steps:
If they plan to force their members into NAIS, consider finding another association to meet your needs if possible. If you do leave your association, be sure to tell them why.
Spread the word! If you find out that your breed association plans to force NAIS on its members, tell all the people you know who are in that association or considering joining. Post to the online groups that focus on your type of animal. Let people know how the association is working against the best interests of its members.
Email us to let us know what your breed association says. We'll post a list of organizations that are requiring NAIS and those that aren't.
More Information

The USDA published its Business Plan in December of last year. You can download the Plan at The Plan sets aggressive targets for implementation of NAIS. One of the strategies for achieving those goals is "harmonization" among various systems that already use individual identification. Harmonization involves changing the existing programs so they use the NAIS-compliant Animal Identification Numbers (AIN's). (Plan, pp.28-29).

As part of its harmonization strategy, USDA lists having breed registries begin using NAIS AIN's in March 2008, less than two months from now. (Plan, p.52). The AIN is a 15-digit internationally unique identification number. It starts with "840" which identifies the animal as coming from the US. (Plan, p.30). In order to get an AIN under NAIS, you have to register your property ("premises registration" under the NAIS plan). The legal effect of this registration is unknown, because there has been nothing like it before - permanent federal registration of citizens' property, linked to an issue (animal ownership) that carries potential liabilities.

With this harmonization strategy, USDA plans to use our private associations to force livestock, poultry, and horse owners to register their property and tag their animals under a government program, despite the continued protests of animal owners across the country.
Contacts for more information

Liberty Ark Supporters: The Liberty Ark email system is still down. You can contact the Coalition by emailing one of the Steering Committee members, Karin Bergener, at or calling her at 330-298-0065.

FARFA List: As always, you can reach us at or 866-687-6452 with any questions.
Working together, we can make our voices heard.
Judith McGearyFarm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

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