Monday, November 3, 2008

USDA ramps up the NAIS threat

Listen. NAIS is a serious threat to small farmers in the US and will affect every person who uses animal products such as meat, wool, eggs, etc., at the very least by higher prices needed to support the vast government bureauracy needed to run and enforce itself.

NAIS was the brainchild of an intrusive, paranoid government agency, aided by agribusiness and technology interests.

It's aim is to digitally track every single farm animal in this country throughout its entire life-span. If you own one livestock animal — even as a pet, or even for your own consumption — you will be required to register your home, business and personal info, GPS coordinates, and have each animal tagged and microchipped. Every animal will receive its own 15 digit tracking number. You must then comply with absurdly burdensome reporting and recordkeeping each time an animal is moved, shown at a county fair, school or nursing home, taken to the vet, on a trail ride across property lines, dies naturally or is slaughtered.

It's really all about protecting industrial factory farms from the "threat" of small family farms, particularly those in the organic, pastured, naturally grown market. It's about selling billions of dollars worth of microchips, tagging equipment, tracking equipment — including satellites and software, and funding federal workers to maintain this potentially massive database. Agribusiness can easily afford this nonsense. Family farms can not. It's that simple.

A few downsides: Oh, those little things like personal privacy and religious freedom and the eradication of the family farm. Think I'm overstating it? Here's more info.

The reason this has come up again is that now the USDA has abandoned the supposedly "voluntary" nature of NAIS; veterinarians may soon be required to report and register any unregistered animals they treat, against the will of the animal owner.

Who does support this? Not surprisingly, Cargill, Tyson, and the tech companies who will reap billions from this. Who loses? The rest of us.

1 comment: said...

Holy cow! And we thought the EU is bad with bureaucracy and smothering small businesses in the process? This is really invasive.