2 Senators from KY on NAIS-What do You Think?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Boleyz, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    These are the responses I got from Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, my 2 KY Senators. Sounds like NAIS is a done deal, but they're confident the bugs will be worked out in favor of farmers and small-timers. Makes it sound like we're over-reacting. Still too early to tell...at least that's my take on it...what do you think?

    Mitch McConnell
    Majority Whip, US Senate, KY
    Senate Agriculture Committee

    Dear (Boleyz)

    Thank your for contacting me regarding the USDA's National Animal Identification System. I appreciate you taking the time to make me aware of your concerns.

    As you may know, on April 27, 2004, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman anounced the framework for implementing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), to identify and track animals as they come in contact with animals other than their herd mates. When fully implemented, this voluntary system will be capable of tracing a sick animal or group of animals to the herd or premises that is most likely the source of infection. Additionally, this system will enhance efforts by the US to respond to introduced animal disease outbreaks more quickly and effectively.

    The NAIS is an extensive program that is still being developed, and the USDA has chosen the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to oversee it's implementation. However, please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind should legislation regarding the NAIS come before the Senate during the 109th Congress.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. If I can be of assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know.

    Sincerely,
    Mitch McConnell
    US Senator


    Jim Bunning
    US Senate, KY :grump:

    Dear (Boleyz)

    Thank you for contacting me about the Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System. It is good to hear from you.

    On November 10, 2005 President Bush signed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food ands Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (HR 2744) into law. This bill allocates $33.3 million for projects related to the US Animal Identification Program. Due to the increasing number of international disease outbreaks and the single positive test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Washington State in 2003, the United Stated must realize the imposing threat of animal disease and take steps toward eradication. However, the NAIS is a work in progress and is not ready to be fully implemented.

    The USDA strives to create a simple and adaptable program which will neither place undue burden on small-scale livestock nor unduly increase the size of Government. Therefore, until the NAIS can achieve its objectives of flexibility, confidentiality, and affordable cost, the NAIS will not be mandatory. The success of the advanced pilot programming suggests promise for the NAIS and I am confident that, as this program develops, the USDA will be attentive to the needs of our farmers while working to improve public health.

    If you have further questions or concerns regarding the NAIS Animal Identification Program, please contact the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737.

    Thank you again for contacting me and please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future.

    Best Personal Regards,

    Jim Bunning
    US Senate :grump:
     
  2. leoaloha

    leoaloha Well-Known Member

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    THe one problem I have with the two letters is that
    Voluntary = will be manditory

    L
     

  3. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    Therefore, until the NAIS can achieve its objectives of flexibility, confidentiality, and affordable cost, the NAIS will not be mandatory

    Which means it will be mandatory and all expenses and bull---- will be passed on to the small farmer homesteader, pet keeper. :stars:
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My understanding is that NAIS is manditory. Not today, but the program is designed to be so, and really can't work (as envisioned) unless it _is_ manditory.

    I think your senators aren't quite in tune on that part of it.

    --->Paul
     
  5. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I remain amazed that so many of our elected officials have no apparent comprehension of the language of the NAIS draft proposal..one has to wonder if they've ever actually read it.
     
  6. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    I have been told by my county agent that the NAIS "IS" a done deal in Kentucky. She explained that it is necessary..blah...blah....blah.....
    When I challenged that it shouldn't be required for people not sending animals into the food supply, she responded that it has to include everyone to be effective. Of coarse I disagree. Government has a habit of passing laws under the radar. I am afraid that it is already done and we can write all the letters we want (and we should) but I think we are out numbered by FEAR...
    She said it is "scheduled" to take effect here in Kentucky beginning January
    2007. She said the main problem is that they don't yet know "how" it will be enforced on people who already own animals and who is actually going to "track" this information. If a person does comply, then what? they have on file somewhere in some data base that I have "x" number of cows and "x" number of sheep.....then what?.....the only problem I can see is if I sell into the food supply and someone gets sick.....IF I comply and never send anything into the food supply, then what? I don't agree with NAIS, it is a violation of my privacy....but that is violated everyday these days. I am just afraid that this FEAR is bigger than we are.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I understand the other things you said, & I would actually agree with you that NAIS is pretty much a problem for all, and that the govt will grow it into more than it is intended for.

    However, I would like to address the 2 points I quoted above, if I may?

    No where, not ever, not in any way, no one has ever, ever, ever even dreamt that NAIS will have _anything_ to do with "someone gets sick."

    That would be a _completely_ different program. NAIS does not, and will not, ever deal with that.

    NAIS is about watching the entire USA herd of animals and keeping a few infected animals from infecting the whole national herd.

    It deals _only_ with animals, not humans in any way.

    You are looking at NAIS from completely the wrong point of view. This is why you are meeting resistance, or not taken seriously by 'officials'.

    NAIS has nothing to do with human beings, or the food on our plate.

    So if your critters ever catch a serious animal disease - it has _nothing_ to do with human food, or selling your critters. It is _all_ about what other animals your critters interact with, and where they pass their disease onto.

    So, _of course_ either everyone must be in the program, or the program will have zero value.

    What good does it do for the big or small farms enter into this national program, but your critters are left to roam & spread diseae willy-nilly? So an outbreak is found, but - it can't be tracked - because there are so many dead ends, from the unregistered critters.

    Either all or nothing. I'm poerfectly happy with nothing, mind you! :)

    But, the program does not work if you all are exempted from it. Totally worthless.

    It is not about humans, and it is not about food.

    It is live animal tracking, to quarrentine disease outbreaks if/when they happen.

    Very narrow scope really, but way too much paperwork.

    But anyhow, I believe your starting point is way off base? Doesn't bother me one bit that you oppose the program. But to be taken seriously, you have to understand what the program is trying to do - track the movement of live animals.

    That Tennesse bill mentioned in another thread is a pretty good one - no tagging until the critter leaves your property. That would put some risk onto you, but it is up to you to tag or not until you move animals.

    This is all about animal movement & animal co-mingling - nothing to do with sick humans or food on the plate.

    --->Paul
     
  8. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Thanks for your informative post. I was wondering, how do you see it coming down in practical terms?

    We show our horses at local horse shows sometimes. They already have to have a coggins paper. Do you think we'll have to keep a logbook, or what?

    Also, How about if my kids want to show some chickens at the county fair or 4-h? Reckon we'll have to have microchips and scanners installed at the farm gate?

    I'm seriously wondering how and even if this program could be implemented... :shrug:
     
  9. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Paul for clarifying this for me. I have read some of the NAIS information but I guess I am mis informed.My county agent also implied that it was in reference to meat animals going to our food supply. I can see how most people are confused. I really don't want to have to do this....I am just afraid that it is already a done deal. If I am forced to ID I guess I will have to do it. I just would rather not.
     
  10. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    [QUOTEThis is all about animal movement & animal co-mingling - nothing to do with sick humans or food on the plate.--->Paul[/QUOTE]

    That is what I have said all the time. That it is not about tracking food animals . It is for tracking and trace back system for ALL diseases that can occur to any animals, with the exemption of Dogs Cats and Rabbits, But this is from the WI. Program other States may include these except cats. I guess. The misinformation that has gone wild on the Internet because of this age of instant communications is one of the problems. Somebody hears it this somebody hears it that way and both get put on the net as Gospel without getting to root of the Program.
     
  11. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    NAIS began life in 2002 as "National FOOD Animal Identification System"..when APHIS became involved, it was transformed to NAIS to include "all animals"..on the original NAIS website, the MAIN stated goal was to provide a 48 hour disease trace back system to allow our EXPORTERS to better compete in a global market..by showing the world that our FOOD exports were safe..SECONDLY, to provide better tracking of animal diseases..

    I notice that NOW, when one accesses NAIS info, there is no mention of exports except in an offhand manner, referring to "increasing the market share of our national herd"..NOW, it's ALL geared toward combating animal diseases..
    Wonder why they changed the "goal" of NAIS?
     
  12. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    :stars:
    Well,I'm atleast impressed that they...
    A) Wrote back
    B) Wrote back about the correct topic

    lol :baby04:
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's one of those govt programs. Looks good on paper. Real simple - just track animals as they move through different locations, & one can trace all the critters that have 'touched' each other about 48 hours ago. Keeps bad diseases from spreading throught the county unchecked.

    but, like any govt program, it becoms large, & paperwork (well, electronic) nightmare, & not everyone or everything fits into the cookie cutter mold - how do we deal with that, keeping the program sound, but allowing folks outside the box to function?

    Horses - I see them opting out of this whole system by the time the dust settles. That 48 hour traceback reporting stuff is just a nightmare for horses, which aren't food animals - typically. Getting horses & their owners off the table will get rid of a big part of the opposition to this program. And, I sure do understand the horse crowd being anti-NAIS. You folks have apretty good set of systems set up, and so many of you are on good anti-disease programs already because you need to be. You move your horses almost, if not, daily and naturally are not by your home internet or phone connection - very hard to do the reporting. Yea, I sure see the problems & opposition from horse owners, and I do see this program going away from you.

    County fairs & 4H & the like is going to have big headaches with this. Very problematic to make it work with individual animals on a traveling setup. Not really much _cost_ involved, but a lot of time hooked to the internet filling out travel forms that will never be looked at by anyone, and difficult for such show organizers to get everyone to comply with what is needed in order to put on the show/ exhibit. However, these animals are food animals, and they are part of the national herd. It is difficult to exempt any such from the rules, and still have a worthwhile trace-back system. Often these animals are one or 2 of the home herd, and when brought to show and taken home, well that is going to be one _big_ source of disease spread if we have some national problem crop up. I do not know a good way to 'fix' this, if we have the program, show animals of the food type need to be a part of that program.

    And, this will pretty much be an internet or phone-in program. You can't do a logbook or mail in animal movements. It will all be electronic self-input. You won't interact with a human, or have them look at mailed-in reports.... This is a database that no one will ever look at unless there is an outbreak of 'something' and then the data will be pulled for the area. You will do all the filing work. There won't be many govt workers dealing with this. It won't really cost all that much, but for the hassle of lots of info to input if you move your critters a lot.

    For all this, I don't know that it will really help slow down disease outbreaks by very much. Govt programs being what they are, combined with folks who will want to live under the radar & not register. The system will not work as well as planned. I think it will help some, but not sure it will help as much as the effort to do it will cost....

    The govt can point to the program and say 'we are doing something' about animal disease threats, and this will make the general public and forgin governments feel better. Oh look see the food will be safer - whether it is, or not....

    Hummm, not sure I answered your question or not, but at least I rambled on some about it. :)

    Me, I think the program won't be worth as much as it will cost. I don't believe it is set up to harm small producers or for other, bad, govt abuse - but the possibility of any such is always there and should be considered. These would be a negative as well.

    --->Paul
     
  14. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rambler I will respond to this, most of which I strongly disagree with you on.

    "understand the other things you said, & I would actually agree with you that NAIS is pretty much a problem for all, and that the govt will grow it into more than it is intended for."

    I agree that this will grow into a huge, abusive bureaucracy, exactly as the architects of this monstrosity envisioned.

    However, I would like to address the 2 points I quoted above, if I may?

    "No where, not ever, not in any way, no one has ever, ever, ever even dreamt that NAIS will have _anything_ to do with "someone gets sick."

    Oh yeah, “someone getting sick” will be one of the excuses used to harass and regulate small producers out of business.

    "That would be a _completely_ different program. NAIS does not, and will not, ever deal with that."

    It may be a different program but you can sure NAIS will be giving the address and satellite co-ordinates and some reason to visit there to whomever will deal with it. Whatever “it” real or imagined will be.


    "NAIS is about watching the entire USA herd of animals and keeping a few infected animals from infecting the whole national herd."

    This country has gotten along quite well for hundreds of years without NAIS. We have survived and reasonably controlled Brucellosis, Hoof and Mouth, and a host of other diseases, why the urgent need now?
    In case you don’t know the answer it’s $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    "It deals _only_ with animals, not humans in any way."

    Sorry, but I see this as an entirely human issue, the right of humans to be able to feed themselves and family without undue govt. interference. And not having factory farmed, and/or genetically altered food as the only option available to them.

    "You are looking at NAIS from completely the wrong point of view. This is why you are meeting resistance, or not taken seriously by 'officials'."

    Folks who resist NAIS are not being taken seriously because, most if not all bureaucrats, politicians, and various and sundry other “officials” are bought and paid for by the same huge food conglomerates that are pushing this abomination.

    "NAIS has nothing to do with human beings, or the food on our plate."

    I believe it has everything to do with human beings, and especially the food on their plates. Or more specifically where the food on the plates is to come from, and at what cost.

    "So if your critters ever catch a serious animal disease - it has _nothing_ to do with human food, or selling your critters. It is _all_ about what other animals your critters interact with, and where they pass their disease onto."

    Nothing to do with human food you say? The principal scare tactic being used to assist in cramming this down our collective throats is that some beef (human food) may possibly be infected with BSE. This is all about making certain that eventually only the “proper” corporations have animals to interact and to sell.

    "So, _of course_ either everyone must be in the program, or the program will have zero value."

    In my opinion the only value this program will have is the immense value that will accrue to the Con-Agra’s, Tyson’s, and others of their ilk. And let’s not forget the recipients of the Federal jobs created, they will do alright too.

    "What good does it do for the big or small farms enter into this national program, but your critters are left to roam & spread disease willy-nilly? So an outbreak is found, but - it can't be tracked - because there are so many dead ends, from the unregistered critters."

    Critters left to roam & spread disease willy-nilly? Few folks leave their livestock to roam, and even fewer have livestock with diseases that CAN be spread “willy-nilly”. Most disease problems are spread by shipped animals, or animals packed in feedlots, not by roamers. I’m closer to 70 than 60 and in my lifetime I can’t remember an animal disease that spread unchecked in the US because of “dead ends”, whatever that means, or unregistered animals.

    'Either all or nothing. I'm poerfectly happy with nothing, mind you!
    But, the program does not work if you all are exempted from it. Totally worthless.'

    Here’s something we can agree on. It should be nothing. And other than it's real purpose, control of the food supply concentrated in the hands of the agri-business giants, it’s totally worthless.

    "It is not about humans, and it is not about food."

    Again, it’s all about humans, control of the human food supply, and the ever tightening noose of our government on every aspect of our lives.

    "It is live animal tracking, to quarrentine disease outbreaks if/when they happen."

    This is the poison snake oil they are trying to peddle to get uninformed folks to swallow this outrage with little or no question. H&M disease has been tracked and almost eridicated, Brucellosis is being controlled, and the BSE cow in the Northwest was quickly found without NAIS.

    "Very narrow scope really, but way too much paperwork."

    It may be narrow in scope now, but it will grow like the malignancy it is, all such programs do. We will soon be smothered in paperwork and regulations. Administrators will need an ever expanding number of underlings to handle an ever increasing work load. You will be amazed at the nonsensical rules they will manufacture to justify their cushy jobs. And all without the oversight of Congress, once established they, can and will, do as they damn well please, no matter how outrageous. Think IRS!!

    "But anyhow, I believe your starting point is way off base? Doesn't bother me one bit that you oppose the program. But to be taken seriously, you have to understand what the program is trying to do - track the movement of live animals."

    Unless there is a huge, angry, outcry from the masses no one will be taken seriously, the powers that be are going to toe the line on this issue. A lot of us DO understand what this program is all about, and it ain’t about animals dead or alive, moving or stationary. Sounds like you have already bought some of their snake oil.

    "That Tennesse bill mentioned in another thread is a pretty good one - no tagging until the critter leaves your property. That would put some risk onto you, but it is up to you to tag or not until you move animals."

    I think the Tennessee bill is a resolution or suggestion. They can’t
    Override the decisions of a Federal agency.


    "This is all about animal movement & animal co-mingling - nothing to do with sick humans or food on the plate."

    This is all about restricting or eliminating animal movement and co-mingling for all but a select few who can grease the right palms. This will ensure they are the only ones providing plate fill.
     
  15. gypsymama

    gypsymama Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I wonder why too.....and wonder how their "goals" will change down the line as we watch this progress. :shrug:
     
  16. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Well, It appears the 2 viewpoints are we can either look at NAIS from a "Practical" viewpoint as Rambler sees it, or from a "Paranoid" Viewpoint as does 65284. :shrug:

    I think that if you're already a little Anti-govt, you'll lean toward the paranoia.

    If you're not really afraid of your govt. you'll try to see it in practical terms.

    As for me, I tend to loathe all govt agencies and beaurocracies. I do see govt as too big, too intrusive and too expensive. Maybe NAIS will be a nightmare. It will certainly cost FAR more than it's worth to US taxpayers. :nerd:

    However, I also realize, on the practical side, that MANY people in GOVT. are also farmers/ranchers and small-time pet farm animal people. They also have extended families, who are also "regular" people, like us. So I tend to believe, that while it may be an inconvenience, they will find ways to make it bearable, if not for us, for the sake of their own interests and families. I know some of ya are gonna say, "yeah, but they can afford it"...maybe so, but most rich people hate taxes as much as anyone else. :cool:

    Now, if they find a way to exempt Govt. employees and their extended families from compliance with NAIS and seek to impose it unfairly on us "little people", then I'll be leading the charge as we revolt. :hobbyhors

    Just my thoughts...
     
  17. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

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    I think both viewpoints suck.

    Why? Because they don't care what you think. They got what they wanted - political office - and your ranting means zip to them.

    :grump:
     
  18. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    They got Office FOR NOW...they want to stay there, and that's up to the folks back home. They get riled, the politicians are out on their ear. They know that.

    Politicians absolutely do care about our "ranting". What they DON'T care about is people who don't vote, get involved, or hold them accountable. As long as they can operate "under the radar" that's what they'll do. A citizen's group back home that opposes them is their worst nightmare..