National Animal Identification System (NAIS)
A report by the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA)
March 1, 2009
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has spent considerable taxpayer money and physical resources on the “National Animal Identification System” (NAIS), acting without Congressional mandate and creating widespread opposition from farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, homesteaders, consumers and agriculture supply businesses—a massive grassroots response that NAIS is a bad idea, unwanted, and not grounded in the reality of farm life, animal husbandry or healthy food.
What is the purpose of Animal ID?
A system of animal identification for disease traceback, sales, health, and breeding recordation has been in continuous use in the United States for well over a century. Refined during its extensive use, the current system, without NAIS components, has and does work well. Why create NAIS?
What is the purpose of NAIS?
The USDA’s NAIS, would require “premises registration” of any property where a single farm animal is kept; Radio Frequency ID tagging or microchipping of every animal; and reporting of every animal’s movements within 24 hours to a federal database under penalty of severe fine, confiscation of animals or both. NAIS proposes
a national disease response network built to protect your animals, your neighbors, and your economic livelihood against the devastation of a foreign animal disease outbreak.
FACT: The USDA already has in place the network they claim NAIS will supplant.
The USDA’s claim that “modern” technology will enable 48-hour traceback during disease outbreak is untenable. In reality, NAIS will not prevent disease because it does not address the cause of disease. Traceback can help track the movement of disease, but if a cataclysmic foreign animal disease outbreak occurred, NAIS will not improve on the current system for containment and quarantine.
Costs of NAIS
The monetary and time costs to implement NAIS are prohibitive for any but the largest industrial livestock producers. Small farms, that make up the vast majority of agricultural holdings, could not comply and sustain their operations. Farming in America would reduce to large industrial operations. Food costs would increase as monopolies increase. Food borne illness, statistically a product of industrial production and processing, would increase. Rural economies would suffer.
During this economic downturn, when small farms are the fastest growing agriculture sector, these expanding sources of employment and local food production would fail. At the same time, taxpayer burden would increase to pay for government agencies to oversee and enforce NAIS.
Cost of NAIS to small farmers and livestock owners