Friday, March 13, 2009

Losing Our Way Of Life Pt II - NAIS

Although we have fought valiantly against NAIS, this administration is sure to implement it, along with other invasive and costly infringements on our privacy and right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Basically, NAIS does to animal breeders what H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 does to produce farmers. Read below, and ACT:

Last Chance to Comment on USDA's Proposed Rule, Subcommittee Hearing, and Appropriations Update

The comment period on USDA's proposed rule to implement NAIS premises registration ends on Monday, March 16. Please take action now!

The proposed rule would require NAIS premises registration for existing disease control programs for goats, sheep, cattle, and swine. It also sets the stage for mandatory NAIS animal identification in the future.

You can comment here online through the Federal Register site and click on the yellow balloon under “add comments.”

An easier way to comment online is through the Organic Consumers Association's automated system, which includes a sample letter.

Please be sure to personalize the letter! It can be as easy as a couple of sentences at the beginning stating who you are (for example, a farmer, consumer, property rights proponent) and why you care about NAIS.

Congressional Hearing on NAIS

On Wednesday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing on NAIS. The questions and comments of several of the Subcommittee members revealed that they view NAIS as a food safety program and critical for animal health in case of a “catastrophic outbreak.” One member said, in essence, that the costs to farmers financially, and in loss of privacy, must be weighed against the "cost in human life" if NAIS isn't implemented.

Yet USDA continues to provide absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claim that NAIS will do anything at all to improve animal health or food safety! What NAIS will do is impose government surveillance and significant expense on animal owners for no real benefit to the public. The only ones who will benefit from NAIS are the meat packers and exporters, tag manufacturers, database managers and other large corporations.

You can send written testimony to the Subcommittee for up to 10 days after the hearing, until Saturday, March 21. Send your testimony to the Hearing Clerk, Jamie Mitchell. Be sure to put “March 11 Hearing – Animal Identification Programs” in the subject line. Keep your comments clear, polite, and concise.

Be sure to send a copy to your Representative and Senators! If you are not sure who represents you, click here.

Appropriations Update

The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 was passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama yesterday. The bill includes $14.5 million for USDA to continue implementing NAIS. This is about half of what the agency requested, but still too much.

Thank you to everyone who called and emailed their Senators to try to strip the NAIS funding out of the bill. Although no amendment was offered, your calls still mattered! The Senators know that their constituents care about NAIS and are watching this issue, which will be important as we continue to fight NAIS battles in Congress throughout this year.

For more information about NAIS, visit and support

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