R-CALF USA Member Alert
(This is not a News Release)
To: R-CALF USA Members and Affiliates
From: Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO
Date: March 13, 2009
Subject: Urgent Alert on NAIS;
Deadline March 20, 2009
On March 11, 2009,
R-CALF USA President Max Thornsberry, D.V.M., testified at a congressional subcommittee hearing on USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
Dr. Thornsberry presented a powerful case against NAIS, but the witnesses were clearly stacked in favor of mandatory NAIS.
Most of the members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry (Subcommittee) who attended the hearing also appeared to favor NAIS.
Our best chance to stop NAIS is in this Subcommittee, and it is right now, while the hearing record remains open.
We need thousands of letters from across the country, from livestock producers, main-street businesses and consumers, to be faxed to the Subcommittee before March 20, 2009, the date the hearing record closes.
Below is a template letter you can use to fax your letter to the Subcommittee. Feel free to use all or part of this letter, or write one on your own. The important thing is we must literally have thousands of letters from all across the country faxed in before March 20.
This is URGENT if you want to put a stop to NAIS. Please circulate this alert and the template letter to any e-mail or fax list you may have in order to blanket the country.
There are about 3,000 R-CALF USA members that receive this alert. This is so important that we are asking every R-CALF USA member to deliver a copy of this alert to at least one non-member to get them to also fax a letter to the Subcommittee.
Here is the Subcommittee’s Fax Number for faxing your personal letter: 202-225-4544.
Timing is everything. Please help us get thousands of personal letters from livestock producers, main-street businesses and consumers faxed to the Subcommittee before March 20. Good Luck!
Here’s the one-page template letter (which also is posted on our Web site at www.r-calfusa.com):
[Put Date Here]
The Honorable David Scott
Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6001
Re: Testimony for March 11, 2009 Hearing on Review of Animal Identification Systems
Dear Chairman Scott and Subcommittee Members:
I am a [insert livestock producer and/or consumer] from [insert your town and state] and I urge you to reject the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
NAIS is government intrusion at its worst. It is un-American for Congress and USDA to force each U.S. farmer and rancher to register with, and report to, the federal government their real property, the number and species of livestock they own, the number of animals produced from each year’s production, and the date and location where their livestock are located or moved – even when their livestock are not moved in interstate commerce or sold for human consumption. With few exceptions, no other segment of America’s free enterprise system is subject to such a heightened level of direct government surveillance.
USDA and Congress are using fear tactics to justify NAIS. They claim the U.S. is behind other countries in disease preparedness and cannot effectively control and eradicate animal diseases. This is absurd. The U.S. veterinary infrastructure is the envy of the world. For decades, U.S. livestock producers worked with their local veterinarians, state veterinarians, and regional and national USDA veterinarians to make the U.S. livestock herd the healthiest herd in the world. It is dishonest and irresponsible to assert the U.S. is second behind any other country in its ability to prevent, control and eradicate animal diseases.
The problem NAIS is supposed to solve is not real; it is speculative. The U.S. has controlled every disease ever to enter the United States. If this were not true, why did USDA significantly cut back its BSE surveillance testing and why does the agency allow the importation of Mexican cattle known to continually reintroduce bovine tuberculosis into the United States? Congress refuses to address the real disease problems facing U.S. livestock producers and consumers. The massive meat recalls involving millions of pounds of meat were not caused by U.S. livestock producers; they were caused by unsanitary conditions at U.S. and foreign slaughterhouses. The 2003 mad cow disease case in animported cow that closed U.S. export markets was not caused by U.S. livestock producers. It was caused by USDA’s failure to restrict Canadian imports after Canada discovered its first case of mad cow disease in 1993.
Rather than prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases by strengthening our border restrictions and addressing the actual source of meat contamination by enforcing food safety standards in U.S. and foreign slaughterhouses, Congress and USDA intend to impose the most onerous regulatory regime imaginable upon U.S. livestock producers.
Please stop NAIS and work with R-CALF USA to develop a sensible plan that would benefit livestock producers by improving our already effective disease prevention, control, and eradication programs.
[Include name and address]