For Immediate Release
Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
December 29, 2008
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Billings, Mont. – Just over a month after R-CALF USA sent a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) demanding that the agency retract Memorandum No. 575.19 issued on Sept. 22, 2008, APHIS-VS officially canceled that particular memo on Dec. 22, 2008.
Memorandum 575.19 mandated premises registration under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for producers engaged in interstate commerce and who participate in any one of the dozen or more federally regulated disease programs.
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R-CALF USA told the agency in its Nov. 10, 2008, letter that the memo “constitutes an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act,” and must be retracted.
“We caught USDA in the unlawful act of trying to convert what was promised to be a completely voluntary animal identification system into a mandatory NAIS, and the agency backed down,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee. “This goes to show how an organized group of cattle producers can effectively defend their rights if they stand and fight together.”
The cancellation memorandum issued by APHIS-VS on Dec. 22, 2008, states, “VS Memorandum No. 575.19 dated September 22, 2008, is hereby canceled.”