Tuesday, January 10, 2006

we don't need no stinkin' ID


The USDA is currently developing a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) that, when fully implemented, would require livestock owners to register all livestock, including poultry. Walter at Sugar Mountain Farm has written an excellent summary of the implications this program could have on small-scale farmers, or even people who want to keep a few chickens in the backyard for eggs or meat. You can read his post here .

My first reaction to this possibility was "forget it. Why bother raising chickens at all if you have to go through all the government paperwork?"

Which is exactly what the government, and industrial agriculture, want me to think. Self-sufficiency is under attack.

15 comments:

Jim said...

Comes The Revolution!!

Laura said...

Aye. Witness the Canadian Firearms Registry, and the decline in legitimate hunting. But - I have a study date, to buckle down and learn the rote stuff that I must recite in the correct order with all the right acronyms etc. in order to get my Firearms Acquisition Licence.

pablo said...

I've seen reference to this system in a number of blogs, and none of it has been favorable. I wondered who was driving this kind of legislation, but I think your post clears it up. Big Ag can use this to drive out the little guy (and gal), who must make up more of the supply chain than I realized. I know I wouldn't keep a few chickens if I had to go through all of the gyrations Walter talks about over at Sugar Mountain Farm.

Floridacracker said...

It makes you wonder how out of touch are these bureaucrats? Do they have any idea of the number of households with small livestock holdings? The sheer volume of data collection would seem to dwarf that of the census and they only do that on a 10 year basis. As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Idiots!"

dragonfly183 said...

All I have to say to that is """I'd like them to try and make me!!!"""

madcapmum said...

Jeepers, makes me want to come and defend your chickens myself! Registry indeed!

Dan Trabue said...

Time to reinstitute the Underground Railroad? Send your chickens to live with our Canadian friends?

thingfish23 said...

That registry plan sounds like bullshit to me. I still want to keep chickens one day, and I'll eat my hat if I'm going to ask anyone's permission to do i on my own little piece of land.

How does the gubmint think they'll actually enforce these sorts of rules?

Deb said...

I'm just glad I don't live fifteen miles to the east, in Wisconsin, where as of Jan. 1, 2006, all animal owners (even those raising fish for consumption!) are required to report their property location to a statewide system or face possible fines for non-compliance.

I agree, enforcement would be a logistical nightmare. And to what end? Monitoring my chickens is NOT going to protect anyone from disease or contamination. Not that the gov't cares about my personal well being anyway; the disease scare argument is a red herring.

I am somewhat optimistic, though. Nothing is set in stone yet, and with the communication power of the Internet, people are being made aware of the issue and hopefully will take action. Enough voices can at least make it known what idiots we have up there in charge.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I'm a little late to the party, but here's my 2 cents: How can the USDA spend any time on this, when they don't even have enough inspectors to follow the large meat and poultry production in this country? This makes no sense. I haven't read any of the links, but I am guessing that someone is doing the Mad Cow and Avian Flu drumbeat in order to impose these licensing ideas.

Laura said...

Dan - if this goes through, Canada will probably quickly follow suit. Most of our regulations on everything from animal feed to energy efficiency ratings are modelled on and harmonized with U.S. regulations. I'm going to ask around among some organic farmer friends and see what they are saying about this.

Deb said...

Not to take away from the good, serious discussion that is going on, but did anyone besides me notice that the chickens outside the coop somewhat resemble underage college students who've been "carded" and thus prevented from entering the "bar"? No ID, no entrance.

I know, my sick sense of humor is showing. But I thought it was kind of clever.

madcapmum said...

Oh, you funny lady! I guess their chips didn't scan, huh?

Gives a new meaning to "The Sign of the Beast"....

Dan Trabue said...

Laura said:
"if this goes through, Canada will probably quickly follow suit."

Maybe the underground railroad can go south, this time?

Walter Jeffries said...

I have setup a site NoNAIS.org to track NAIS and fight it. I'll be posting alerts, action items, news and articles there about NAIS as well as linking to additional resources, sites and blogs fighting NAIS. Please spread the word about NAIS so that people know just how bad it is and can fight it. NAIS may be good for the big producers as it will give them more export markets but it is horrible for small farmers, homesteaders and pet horse owners.