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Yet Again, Group Urges USDA to Withdraw NAIS Plans

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Billings, Mont. - In formal comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Aug. 3, 2009, R-CALF USA yet again pointed out the errors of the agency's ways if it continues to force upon independent U.S. cattle producers its National Animal Identification System (NAIS): an onerous burden of untold financial implications and an unconstitutional violation of every citizen's private property rights and liberty.

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R-CALF USA submitted a 3-part set of comments, which included: 1) an 11-point overview of why the NAIS is unacceptable because it is a fundamentally flawed system that would hamper disease investigations; 2) a resubmission of eight recommendations (originally offered to USDA on March 31, 2009) that provide a starting point for a practical solution for enhancing animal disease investigations; and, 3) the written testimony of R-CALF USA President Max Thornsberry provided at the March 11, 2009, NAIS hearing held by the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.

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"USDA - through its recent NAIS listening sessions - should be aware without a doubt of the countryside's overwhelming opposition to this program, and as such, should listen to the producers who have a genuine stake in this issue rather than to the self-interested corporate eartag manufacturers and corporate meatpackers that are pushing this program for financial gain," said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group's animal health committee. "We again have emphasized to the agency that simply enhancing our nation's highly successful and time-proven preexisting disease programs would achieve the agency's goals and would not infringe on the rights and privileges of the states and their respective cattle-producing citizens.

"Over the next 12 days, R-CALFUSA will issue a series of news releases to explain in detail many of the reasons our membership opposes NAIS," he continued. "We hope this effort will bring to light many of the dangerous aspects associated with NAIS with regard to invasion-of-privacy issues, the likely acceleration of the ongoing exodus of U.S. cattle producers from the industry, as well as other concerns we believe USDA has not even begun to ponder."

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R-CALF USA, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated (more...)

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