National Animal ID listening sessions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by shepmom, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    Press Release
    USDA to Hold Listening Sessions on National Animal Identification Program
    WASHINGTON, June 10, 2004—The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold a series of listening sessions across the country to discuss the development, structure and implementation of a national animal identification program for all livestock and poultry animals.
    “These sessions will provide public forums to discuss the national animal identification program,” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks. “A national animal identification program will help the government and industry more quickly control outbreaks of a variety of animal diseases and reduce the economic impacts on the market.”
    Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced in December 2003 that USDA would expedite the implementation of a national animal identification program. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received more than $18 million to begin implementing a national system that will quickly and efficiently traceback diseased or potentially diseased animals. A premise identification system will be completed this summer, which will allow for the beginning of pilot programs to test identification systems.
    The first listening session will be held at Crown Center (formerly known as the Charlie Rose Ag Center), 1960 Coliseum Dr., Hospitality Suite A, in Fayetteville, N.C. on June 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For directions, call the Crown Center at (910) 323-5088.
    Additional listening sessions will be held in: Athens, Ga. on June 18; Prineville, Ore. on July 1; Stockton, Calif. on July 10; Socorro, N.M. on July 16; Pasco, Wash. on July 23; Greeley, Colo. on Aug. 10; Billings, Mont. on Aug. 13; Kissimmee, Fla. on Aug. 16; Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 18; Ames, Iowa on Aug. 26; Joplin, Mo. on Aug. 27; Appleton, Wis. on Aug. 30; and St. Cloud, Minn. on Aug. 31. More details about each listening session, including the site and time of the meeting, will be posted on the APHIS Web site at <http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/nais/nais.html>.
    These sites are in addition to Houston, Texas where USDA participated in a congressional field hearing March 5 and discussed the issue with livestock producers and groups. USDA officials have also attended various meetings around the country to discuss this and other issues with agricultural producers.



    Dates and places of listening sessions and transcripts
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/nais/nais_listeningsessions.html
     
  2. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Thanks for the heads up. A little too far for me to travel to get to a session. I also expect that it is too far for a number of producers to attend. Too bad, they need to be informed and give their opinion.

    I'm a little concerned about the cities they chose to hold the meetings in. As you may or may not know there are a LOT of cattle in feed yards in the area from Dodge City, KS to Garden City, KS. I'm not sure how far Greeley, CO is, but it seems more metropolitan than agricultural since it is so close to Fort Collins and Denver. Further east in Colorado or even in Kansas would have seemed more appropriate in my opinion. I've heard the figure of 270 semi truck loads of cattle a day coming out of the Kansas area mentioned. How about Greeley or a lot of the other cities meetings are being held in? I guess the Joplin meeting would have to catch the poultry producers of Arkansas.

    Seems a shame the government feels the need for such control.
    I've read recently about the prion being bred out of cattle in Japan in order to get around the MCD. Perhaps bred out is not the correct term. Genetically modified is perhaps what is being done, but don't hold my memory to that either.

    Again, thanks for alerting us.
     

  3. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Columbus OH would almost be do-able for us ... but its the day before the first day of school :rolleyes:

    With our perfect sense of timing we sold our dairy herd right before milk went to $16.50 per cwt and spent all we had on more beef cattle right before the Mad Cow scare hit. But we sell a good number as *all-natural* freezer beef and we have more control over them.

    We-re a little concerned whether cow-calf producers will be stuck with the bulk of the tagging and ID work. Another puzzler is whether we would have to ID every animal, or only the ones that we sell at auction, not privately.

    I think no matter how its done the coffee shop will be buzzing with aggravation!

    Ann
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Cow/calf will get most of it, but at least it is better than COOL. That is a true joke!

    I tag my calves anyways and do not feel the this would be a big change. I'd just have to use different tags. I already keep records showing who had who and who gets sold when. No big deal.

    I'm sure this will apply to any animal sold. If I sell you a calf, then you take it to auction, the chain of ownership is broken and it can't be traced back.

    I think this is good for the industry and good for the small producers as well. If they can trace things down quickly, consumers will have more confidence in beef products.

    Jena
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would guess that the system they have in mind will mimic the one we are using in Canada. I could be wrong but I will share with you how it works here. There are flaws in the system but it's essentially intended to be a long range program. The idea is that no animal will be without a tag indicating it's herd of origin but ours has been stepped up a bit and older cattle are wearing tags of the last known owner so it's wise to keep good records on them. Fines are strict but we had a grace period and plenty of time to prepare so now any animal that goes to auction, direct sale to a slaughterhouse, a vet clinic or butcher will not be handled until the bar code tag is in the ear and a $500 fine is given to the owner. The tags are reasonably cheap (@ $1.50 CDN for the XL size and cheaper for smaller). For those that worry about the government knowing how many animals they have, it's not that specific and we have to claim something on our taxes, you order in multiples groups of 25, although I think you can buy singles if necessary. It's not a perfect system and I could offer the flaws but I prefer to emphasize the posatives. When we had our case of BSE, we in the mid stages of the program and the cow was older, making it almost impossible to trace her background quickly but I feel the system was proven effective when the cow turned up posative in Washington. It took less than an hour to trace her to a farm in Alberta and very few healthy animals had to be killed to satisfy a tracing program that's nothing but a waste of time and livestock, in my opinion. We killed and tested almost 3000 head to try and identify the herd of origin of the older cow and her background when the tag and decent records would have given us clearer answers and so much quicker. I might like a heifer and buy her but if she's to become ill or show signs of something bad, I don't want to be stigma of destroying an industry if we can factually trace her history. I don't think that anyone can imagine what kind of hell the man in Alberta has gone through, simply because he bought a pen of black angus cows from a broker. He's had his family threatened, the media has camped on his doorstep and previously friendly neighbors treat him like dirt because he bought a cow infected with BSE and by the time all the tests were in, the hide was already at the tanners so no brands could be traced. It had nothing to do with him but his name was forever attached to one cow that has destroyed a multi billion dollar industry in Canada. I'll gladly buy the tags if it will just help us sort this out and keep our food safe for our consumers. Forgive me if I've ranted but until you see how much damage something like this can do to an industry, it's hard to comprehend the need.
     
  6. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me they could have done more meetings in the rural areas or don't they want actual farmers to attend.

    mikell
     
  7. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    WR, thank you for explaining all that. Food for thought.

    When I was a reporter, I went to some USDA/Congressional hearings, and, I dont know. Sometimes I think they have their minds already made up (sometimes made up for them by lobbyists) and they are just going through the motions.

    These meetings might be different than the ones I attended. At those meetings (I think about NAFTA) the list of witnesses was already set and I dont recall them taking any input from the audience. Not like some sort of town hall meeting. If you want to say something I wonder if you might have to contact your congressman to get on the list.

    I think producers are a little leery and maybe rightly so, whether lawsuits might result, if someone got food poisoning. I never thought of tax implications.

    FIL and DH never tagged any of the cattle. Why, I dont know. FIL *just knew* who they all were, and for the longest time our beef cows were a dukes mixture of Holstein cross-breds, very distinctively marked.

    Now taht they all look alike we sort of need to upgrade I think ;)

    Ann
     
  8. Joy in Eastern WA

    Joy in Eastern WA Well-Known Member

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    I think this will eventually just become an income producer for the government. Fines will be sent out to those who don't participate, or farms seized and sold off to the big Con-Agra's of the world.
     
  9. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    When I was a reporter, I went to some USDA/Congressional hearings, and, I dont know. Sometimes I think they have their minds already made up (sometimes made up for them by lobbyists) and they are just going through the motions.
    [Ann/Quote]

    ***********************************
    "This team has identified three phases that they recommend in a transition to a national identification system. These phases are:

    All states have a premises identification system in place by July 2004; unique individual animal or group/lot numbers to be available for issuance by February 2005.
    All cattle, swine and small ruminants possess individual or group/lot identification for interstate movement by July 2005.
    All animals of the remaining species/industries (including bison, swine, sheep, goats, camelids (alpacas and llamas), cervids (deer and elk), poultry (eight species including game birds) and aquaculture (eleven species) be in similar compliance by July 2006.
    As you can see, work on a national identification system has been ongoing for several years. The urgency from recent occurrences in the cattle industry will likely expedite the implementation." www.noble.org/Ag/Livestock/CattleIDfuture/
    ****************************
    They've had it planned for quite awhile--and apparently not just for cattle!
     
  10. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    If an animal is born and dies on a premise and never leaves it, then it will not need an id. If you plan on selling any offspring born on your premises it will need an id.

    I'm not sure how small producers benefit from the id system. Supposedly, the cost will not be borne by the govt. to implement this fully.


    http://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0170.04.html
    “While many livestock species in the United States can be identified through a variety of systems, a verifiable system of national animal identification will enhance our efforts to respond to intentionally or unintentionally introduced animal disease outbreaks more quickly and effectively,” Veneman said. “This framework is the result of concerted efforts to expedite the implementation of a system that meets our goals and enables farmers and ranchers to adapt existing identification programs and to use all existing forms of effective technologies.”

    “Mr. Hawks indicated that while the initial focus will be on cattle and perhaps swine, we can probably safely say that what works for good identification in cattle probably is going to be something different when we get into aquaculture and poultry."
    http://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0171.04.html
     
  11. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    From a time long before Foot & Mouth hit EU, Canada and the US was working on a program for livestock identification. I think it actually started to form when someone in Canada imported cattle from a herd in Britain that was found to be infected with BSE. I can't find much bad in the system, it's not about being able to identify your own cattle, it's about proving where it was born and being able to trace it from birth to fork and it's not just about BSE. I read all the time on the cattle forum about folks buying orphan calves at a sale barn. What if the herd of origin is infected with something that could transfer to herdmates? It was bought to feed your family, ignorance is not bliss and could be dangerous to other animals or human health. If a small producer has a $1.50 profit margin on an animal, which is the cost of the tag, they shouldn't be a producer. Think about the animal that showed up affected with BSE, if she would have had no tag, the US would have lost trade partners and consumer confidence and you'd be in the same boat we are, $1600 pairs are worth exactly $250 at best, ranch bankruptcies are up 40% and things are dire. We don't require an animal to be tagged if it never leaves your farm but should it got to a butcher in town or a vet, it needs a tag. It's been in place for 3 years and I have yet to hear about anyone being audited by the government or the government using it aginst us in any way. The flaws in the system are not related to the government, but in how the system is incorporated. The system needed enough years to phase out the old cows because now, I have to tag a cow that was not born at my place which skews a system that is tracking herd of origin but in my case, I have good records.
     
  12. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    The only people who have something to fear from this are ones who are doing something illegal anyways...like selling an animal before a drug withdrawl is up.

    If I happened to be the one who turned up with an animal with some dreaded disease...yeah, they would come and kill off my herd (they do pay for that). It would devastate me...but better me than an entire industry!

    Do you know that they never did track down all the cows that came in with the mad cow in washington? Most of them were never found and no one knows what happened to them. Why? Because it is impossible to track them now! Utterly impossible!

    We NEED this.

    Of course, I'm kind of interested to see how they are going to id chickens...banding all those chicks would be a major pain, but I would gladly do it.

    Jena
     
  13. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Jena
    If you went to the link there were 2 meetings that had transcripts , it takes a while to read but worth the efort. The poultry and pork were mentioned in both Q&As. They indicated that if they moved as a flock or herd(butcher hogs) they did not need individual id. But single or small groups would. They still will require access to easily tracable records. There was a lot of input in the q&as about small producers being able to tag when they came to market such as a livestock sale, kinda like putting the tatoo on butcher hogs. It was interesting and I will keep up with future transcripts they also have email and snailmail addresses for your input if you can not attend.
    Mr Wanda
    Mike
     
  14. Joy in Eastern WA

    Joy in Eastern WA Well-Known Member

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    What about seafood? How will that be tracked? I read once that all the "farmed" fish would be tagged, but I think it would be next to impossible to tag all the fish in the ocean. Will that eventually be banned because records can't be kept on them?

    How many people in this country get seriously ill or die from animals not being tracked? I would have to say the percentages are so small, that it couldn't be measured. More become ill from spoiled foods and wrong preparation.

    Honestly, I think this is a precursor of a "tag" for all citizens. We will all receive some kind of implant to track us where ever we are. We are already becoming custom to more intrusion of our privacy with the tracking of emails, On-Star systems and credit cards. An implant could save a missing child, or track down the exact location of a criminal, or it would keep some illegal immigrant from trying to get employment or benefits from the government.

    Yes, this may all sound good, but I'm totally against this type of system. So, if you are all excited about a tracking system for all livestock, then you are encouraging the government to take the next step and that's tracking each and every individual.
     
  15. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    I guess I-ll have to help the chicks memorize their social security numbers. The cattle are working on theirs ;)

    I know we don-t need another Mad Cow scare or Heaven forbid foot & mouth diseases like they had in the UK.

    However ... I am reminding myself when we sold Grade A milk, we had paperwork on file with the state board of health, and were subject to federal, state and local (by the dairy) inspections. Not real happy about it, but it was just one of the hoops we had to jump through to sell Grade A milk. And it was NOT a perfect system but fairly effective I-d say. The real enforcement, however took place at the local level. Ship *hot* milk for whatever reason and you open a can of worms. Not to mention giving people with the *food scaries* another something to be concerned about if something big happened.

    So, *for the good of the order* so to speak I guess it sort of needs to be done. But ... it was annoying to have that much government involvement when we were selling milk ...

    Just the whole idea of more government involvement ... bleah.

    And I can see JOy-s point of the coming of a national human ID system (other than SSN and drivers license ...) Just a little freaky to think the argumetn could be *We micro-chip your dog, your horse, the beef steer you eat, we can trace the milk you drink ... what-s the big deal to put a chip in YOUR hand or forehead ...*

    Just my 2 cents worth. Adjusted for inflation I dont think its even worth that!
    Ann



    Ann
     
  16. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I odn't think the government is doing this as some sort of evil plot to track us. They already do that well enough, besides..

    the vast majority of people in this country do not own any livestock. They will probably be mostly unaware of whatever system is put in place.

    We don't eat people, but we do eat animals. It is not just a matter of people getting sick, but of spreading diseases among animals. Let's see we had avian flu this year, newcastle's last year, one mad cow and go knows what all else that just didn't make the mainstream news.

    Buying into the "if I let them do this, then I've given permission to that" is sort of a paranoid outlook on life. Animal ID makes sense and is needed. People ID is not. They are two completely seperate issues that should not be mixed up.

    Jena
     
  17. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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  18. Joy in Eastern WA

    Joy in Eastern WA Well-Known Member

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    Jena, it has nothing to do with paranoia, but that seems to be the response from all who are in favor of this towards those who are not. I remember when bicycle helmets became popular. Now, they're going to make it law to have them on whenever you're out riding a bike. If not, a fine, just like seatbelts. Get the people comfortable with ID'ing their livestock, then the pets, and then the population in general. Of course, some have already pursued the "chip," so I think it's just a matter of time.

    I raise horses and all of them are registered, either through the Jockey Club or APHA. Photos and blood samples are on file with each and everyone I register. And, quite honestly, I think that's enough. The government has no business telling me that I will have to eventually have *another* system that I will have to work with in identifying my livestock.

    What about seafood? How is the government going to control that?
     
  19. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    Been to a few public comment periods on stuff like this before. The givers won't really be "listening" they are not supposed to. You, however, are supposed to feel like you are being heard and may have a say in the matter.

    Bunk.


    I predict more brave new world of permits with onerous reporting requirements and costs that eventually drive out individuals and families in favor of corporations and institutions.

    Like medicine, education, and employment is now so will be your capacity to husband your stock and determine your sales and manage you livelyhood.

    Not today, but then.
     
  20. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    I*m not paranoid ... I*m just another thread on the lunatic fringe!

    I think I can explain where some of this wariness is coming from. Some of us Christians believe during the time when the anti-Christ is in power that no one will be able to buy or sell without a mark in their hand or forehead, and believe that SSNs and micro-chipping animals, that sort of thing, will lull everyone into complacency about taking *the mark.*

    Not all Christians agree that this is part of end-time events. As a matter of fact its a topic of debate amongst various branches of Christianity.

    This particular end-times scenario is a secondary issue compared to the core beliefs, but it is out there. It appears that this board covers a broad spectrum of farmers and rural folks, and some would be familiar with the concept, others unfamiliar and others think its totally nuts.

    Then there-s the idea of government getting more involved in everything, and re-inventing the wheel in situations where animals are already ID-ed some way.

    My own opinion is that a national animal ID system is coming whether we like it or not, better try to get in on the formative process if possible. (Maybe its too late for that)

    Anyway, that-s my opinion why some of us are wondering where this will all end up.

    Ann