This article by Franklin Sanders, “The Most Dangerous Man in the Mid South,” makes excellent points about the upcoming National Animal Identification System (NAIS). This quote should imspire you to read further, “…The NAIS abolishes private property rights in farms and in animals. The NAIS, run by a branch of the USDA, considers “your” animals to be not yours, but part of “the national herd.” Plainly, they are right. If they can force you to register your farm and your animals, you do not own them. They own them because they control them. You are only inventorying property & animals for their true owner, the federal government….”
The Latest Tyranny: Tagging Terrorist Chickens
By Justin Sanders
As posted at The Money Changer
Have you heard about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)? The radio ads feature a “farmer” telling us how hard it is to make a living farming today – harder than it was for Momma and Daddy. Worse yet, now we’ve got the risks of all these new diseases. But – golly, golly, gee — the government is going to help. They’ve come up with a voluntary program to register our farms and animals to protect us and our animals from diseases. All good Americans will sign up.
Characteristically, the radio propaganda-speak beareth no likeness to the truth. To prove that for yourself, visit www.usda.gov/nais and click on the “Draft Strategic Plan” on the upper right hand side.
We all know that there is no pandemic or epidemic now sweeping through the livestock population would demand such drastic measures. If so, government’s first act wouldn’t be punching an ear tag into every chicken they could catch. Any eighteen-year-old mother who knows to hand testing a forehead for fever can tell you that tagging ears to fight disease is ridiculous. No, during epidemics government agents kill the infected animals and all animals in the herd. Then they spread out and test neighbouring herds and destroy those that test positive.
If They’re Not Fighting Disease, Then Why Nais?
Follow the money. Ask, Cui bono? Who benefits?
Agribusiness lobbied the USDA to create a system to protect them from legal liability if an epidemic does break out. More, NAIS would protect agribusiness market share, forestalling a public revulsion against their product by “confirming” that only a few animals were sick, rather than not thousands. NAIS enables huge agribusiness conglomerates that concentrate thousands of animals (and so concentrate the chance for spreading diseases) to point their finger at someone else.
Here’s the scenario:
To protect themselves these large corporations will effectively to put small farmers out of business. Not only the program costs (which fall on the farmer), but also the threat of fines and jail time for not complying will drive small farmers off the land. At the same time, NAIS sets up the same corporations as the only entities granted the ‘privilege’ to raise animals, since they, of course are the only ones who can be trusted to follow such a plan to protect the “national herd.”
But I’ve just got a few chickens and a horse. Not me, right?
Wrong. The NAIS plans provide no exemptions whatever. One chicken, one horse, one cow, one sheep, one goat, one bison, one llama, one alpaca, one turkey, one duck — all must register, premises & animals.
Goodbye Property Rights
The NAIS abolishes private property rights in farms and in animals. The NAIS, run by a branch of the USDA, considers “your” animals to be not yours, but part of “the national herd.” Plainly, they are right. If they can force you to register your farm and your animals, you do not own them. They own them because they control them. You are only inventorying property & animals for their true owner, the federal government.
Mandatory Means Mandatory
The NAIS’s schedule fixes January 2008 for “mandatory” enforcement. Mandatory means “forced” and “enforcement” means “putting into force.” Not of your own free will. The government will fine you, put you in jail, or seize your animals for raising animals without registering them with the government — “raising animals without a licence,” I reckon they’ll call it. That’s right, 6,500 years of historical right will be abolished. From now on, you’ll be breaking the law for being a farmer without government permission.
What’s more, “The Department does not plan to issue ‘alerts’ to inform livestock owners of the requirements until April 2007, only eight months prior to the date when it will be mandatory to submit the GPS co-ordinates of one’s home and the RFID of one’s animal[s] to the USDA database.” (Zanoni, 3)
More Good News
Who will pay for NAIS? You will. It does not favour the small farmer, but corporations with huge budgets. These conglomerates get to write off government registration fees, etc., but the write off means almost nothing to small farmers, who must first come up with the money to comply. The NAIS is free now, but will not be in the future. On their website, the NAIS states, “Even with public funding, there will be costs to producers.” There’s a time tax, too. States, tribes, producers, managers of livestock shows and events, market operators, processing plants, service providers and third parties will all have to provide labour for this system.
By registering with the NAIS you open yourself for future taxes. By registering your car, you pay taxes. By registering yourself as the owner of your home, you pay taxes. By registering yourself with a social security number, you pay taxes. Taxes for being a farmer and taxes on your animals will come, too.
Those For And Those Against
Tennessee (and probably your state, too) is now implementing the voluntary premises identification section of this plan. In your state you’ll see the Farm Bureau, the cattlemen’s association, and the extension agents lining up. With new government programs comes new government money. They’ll push NAIS compliance by holding out carrots of new money available only to those who register.
Can We Defeat Nais?
You bet. There’s still hope we can defeat NAIS.
Dr. Mary Zanoni, a lawyer from New York, has filed official comments with the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) decrying the NAIS. She has also founded an organisation – Farm for Life. In her brilliantly argued statement filed in June 2005, she put this whole scheme in perspective.
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