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RFID pg 2
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Articles of Importance to NAIS pg 1
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A visit from the USDA
Current Equine Outbreaks
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Real ID / NAIS Comparison
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Dogs going NAIS
The Paradigm Shift: Total Transformation
Eminent Domain
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What is the Hegelian Dialectic?
Delphi Technique
Are your pet foods "scientifically" made like you think?
NAIS is Censored by the Media
Guide to Good Farming Practices

01-28-10 Oklahoma has introduced HB2781. Go to the Oklahoma page for more information

posted 05-27-09
The USDA is holding listening sessions through out the lower 48. They have an introduction period, then allow, yes allow only so many people via a lottery to speak against NAIS. The after noon sessions is putting you in a separate groups so you can come to a consenus.  Keep saying NO around the table. Read the Delphi Technique as they are using it.  So far the sessions have yielded a resounding NO to NAIS.  
 
 
 
 

 
Its Critical that anyone who owns livestock to submit your comments against the 840 Tags and against the NAIS.
 
 

FEDERAL UPDATE

For information on the USDA’s proposed rule, see our previous alert. The deadline to submit comments opposing the draft rule is March 16, 2009. Click here to submit comments online.

Or mail TWO copies to: Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

See our sample comments here, or you can download them from here.

Be sure to personalize your comments!

It is critical that we get comments from the thousands of people opposed to NAIS in the formal record. Not only will that impact the USDA rulemaking, but it will show Congress the depth of the opposition to NAIS. Congresswoman DeGette from Colorado recently filed HR 814, which would require tracking of every place a food animal was kept, for animals in interstate commerce, and potentially restrict access to USDA-inspected slaughterhouses for animals not part of the system. You can read the bill here.

No committee hearing has been set, and it is unclear if the bill will move forward at all. But it is a sign that some Congress members continue to push for NAIS. Please take a few moments to comment on the proposed regulations now, so that we can send a signal back to Congress that NAIS is not the answer to our animal health and food safety issues!

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Has anyone ever figured out why all the recalls from foreign countries in the last 5 years and certainly in the last 2 years.   Here is why: 
 

"Equivalency" is an obligation of several WTO agreements, as well as NAFTA. It is designed to allow goods produced under different rules and regulations to be imported into another country with minimal inspection at the border. Before the United States entered the WTO, the USDA required other countries to have standards equal to the United States, and the agency inspected foreign plants eligible to export to this country. Now, the USDA declares other countries’ meat safety systems "equivalent" based on a review of foreign government paperwork instead of a physical inspection of all meat plants eligible to export to the United States.

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NAIS- The Fourth Component: by Darol Dickinson

The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) has been alleged as a three component program, however now a fourth component facade is starting to reveal itself.

The first step of NAIS is premises enrollment, next animal identification, and then coast to coast 48 hour animal tracing.

USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Bruce I. Knight has promised that the NAIS program is easy to enroll and totally voluntary on the federal level, if . . . enough livestock owners enroll so it does not have to go mandatory.

The NAIS program has distributed thousands of selling USDA press releases quoting Knight. The constant controversy of NAIS has placed the Knight name among the top ten Internet bureaucrats according to Google, with Bruce Knight or Bruce I. Knight showing up over 17,000,000 times.

The fourth Component is meticulously touched by Knight, if USDA decides to make all or parts of the NAIS mandatory, APHIS will follow the normal rulemaking process. With rules, laws, inspections, taxes, regulations, or licensing comes the fourth component......Enforcement.
Enforcement of NAIS is not a happy subject especially when the first component is still not setting well with the majority of producers. However, it is a dead serious issue for animal owners who want to know what new enforcements are involved, and their price tag, before they permanently enroll.

In 2007 the US spent nearly one trillion dollars (from taxes and borrowed funds) in regulation enforcements, policing, investigations, and mandatory compliances. Although this was a huge expense to the citizenry, the fines, collections, penalties, licenses, fees and private property confiscations from all law violations was an equally swelling amount; a number impossible to locate from federal published data.
The current rule making process for USDA is found on line at Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, U.S. Code., Title 7 >Chapter 109> 8313. Penalties. #8313 (b) Civil Penalties, (1) In general (A)

(i) $50,000 in the case of any individual, except that the civil penalty may not exceed $1000 in the case of an initial violation of this chapter by an individual moving regulated articles not for monetary gain;

(ii) $250,000 in the case of any other person for each violation; and

(iii) $500,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding.

Penalties appropriate to the violation is a cornerstone fundamental of the US judicial system. Enforcement is totally capricious with USDA. One could be fined in county court $1000 for a 70 mph speed violation through a school zone, yet $50,000 for crossing a state line with one number incorrect on a USDA issued livestock health certificate for a perfectly healthy childs pony! Dr. Max Thornsberry, President of R-CALF USA says, The USDA is a run away agency out of control, with total disregard for U.S. citizens.

Producers have been mystified by the massive amount of grants and funds (cooperative agreements) doled by USDA to get NAIS closer to full mandatory mode. The nearly $150,000,000 invested to promote enrollment looks large, but ..... it would only take 300 violations of $500,000 each to quickly earn it back.

US leaders watch other government trends closely in creating new laws and taxation. Europe has been a leader in pioneering thought for US policy. Government animal numbering systems have been urged in a few countries prior to the marketing of NAIS in the US. Australia is the only country to have implemented electronic tagging and tracking as is proposed by the USDA. Australia is a prototype for enforcement also.

Stephen Blair, a Director of the Angus Society of Australia was recently fined $17,300. He was prosecuted by Australian Minister McDonald for moving cattle from one of his ranches wearing ear tags from his other ranch to a livestock auction. No diseased or stolen livestock were involved. It was a matter of a government rule violation. This is a small example of the enforcement USDA could wield over US livestock producers if NAIS was exacted mandatory.

Part of the title for Bruce Knight, is REGULATORY PROGRAMS. This probably helps explain his tigerish priorities for the income generating fourth component of NAIS ENFORCEMENTS.

USDA enforcements are now, and will be a coerced obligation of all licensed USDA veterinarians. Vets will be required to report all non compliance of their valued clients or be subject to immediate licensing reviews. The USDA/APHIS policing division is the Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) with headquarters in Raleigh, NC; Fort Collins, CO; and Riverdale, MD. IES boasts of increasing thousands of clients with a 51% increase in case load and “more than a threefold increase in the dollar value of civil penalties in one recent year. To enforce the ever increasing number of regulations, the government seeks to make ordinary citizens into their enforcers. Even today all neighbors, farm employees and friend or foe associates are encouraged on the IES web site to Report potential violations, please contact IES. Wisconsin tried to use bulk milk haulers to enforce NAIS against Amish dairy farmers in 2007. The Fourth Component is operational and extremely aggressive.

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) printed an information flyer to dispel negative NAIS exaggerations. Question: Reports say youre going to charge $1000 a day for not participating if it is mandatory. Answer: The TAHC is a regulatory agency and has administrative penalty provisions in its law as a recourse for persons who refuse to comply.

The Fourth Component is Enforcements It can be disastrously expensive. The majority of US livestock producers dont like the thought of imprisonment and exorbitant fines.

NAIS, when mandatory, as proposed by USDA, will require 100% computer movement documentation at the full expense of livestock owners. In a three year period the total NAIS computer movement numbers in the USA will more than eclipse the number of all people living on the entire planet earth. The whopping magnitude of this federal numbering burden will require a giant increase in USDA employees, facilities, and, of course IES will explode with new clients.

Every livestock producer is encouraged to study the many intricate details of NAIS. The large majority of livestock producers refuse to enroll their premises in NAIS. Oppose NAIS now, rather than when it becomes scurrilously mandatory. There is a small amount of time remaining to politically react. For more information www.naisSTINKS.com or www.NONAIS.org or www.LibertyArk.net.

Australian ear tag case:
Http://www.agmates.com/blog/2008/06/30/

Cornell Agriculture Law:
Http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/7/usc_sec_07_00008313----000-.html

APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services
Http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ies



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WESTERN HORSEMEN NAIS POLL

Note: This data is the first in 6 years that has been offered the entire USA for a bipartisan poll on NAIS. It was plain, simple and any livestock owner could vote in a few seconds.

The USDA has ask for input about NAIS on their complicated federal site. Poll results are unpublished by USDA, but most are sure the end result was within one or two percent of the Western Horseman national poll.

This poll clearly indicates the feelings of a wide range of livestock producers. Western Horseman is an all breed publication clearly aimed at equine owners, but also has the largest circulation of cattle producers of any publication. Over a half million livestock owners read WH monthly. Is this a valid poll??

Our NAIS Poll

Our June issue included the story "Identity Crisis," which examined the controversy surrounding a proposed national animal-ID system. Last month, we asked visitors to westernhorseman.com where they stood on this subject. Long story short: horse owners hate this idea.

The USDA insists an ID program will one day be implemented. We can assume the government doesn't intend to put it to a vote.

A. J. Mangum, Editor, Western Horseman Magazine

Here's how the poll results broke down:

"We the People Voted"
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Posted 03-08-08
And all done without NAIS, Testing is the key not premises Id, Not tagging, not reporting, but good ole testing accomplished the job.
 
Alaska Farm Bureau site. http://akfb.fb.org/AKFB0308/REP%20CARL%20GATTO%202.doc

U.S. ACHIEVES CATTLE BRUCELLOSIS CLASS FREE STATUS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that, for the first time in the 74-year history of the brucellosis program all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have simultaneously achieved Class Free status.  Texas was the last and final state to be declared brucellosis free.

“This tremendous achievement could not have been accomplished without the combined efforts of state and federal agencies and industry,” said Bruce Knight, under Secretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs mission area.  “But our work is not done.  We must now focus our efforts on eradicating brucellosis from the free-ranging elk and bison populations in the grater Yellowstone Area in order to protect our national cattle heard against future outbreaks of this disease.”

In 1934, the eradication of brucellosis was elevated to a national scale with the formation of a cooperative state-federal eradication program to eliminate brucellosis from the country.  Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that causes decreased milk production, weight loss, infertility, loss of young and lameness in cattle, elk and bison.  The disease is contagious and can, though rarely, affect humans.  There is no treatment and depopulation of infected and exposed animals is the only effective means of disease containment and eradication

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USDA Plans to Use Breed Registries to Implement NAIS
USDA plans to use breed associations to force NAIS registrations, beginning as early as March 2008, less than two months from now.  USDA's Business Plan calls for breed registries to start using an official Animal Identification Number, or "AIN" in their registry. And since you must first register your property in NAIS before you can obtain an AIN, this could effectively implement the first two stages of NAIS for anyone in those registries!

The breed registries for cattle, horses, sheep, and goats are potential targets, but the Plan does not indicate which breed registries have agreed to implement NAIS.

Take Action: Contact your breed association or other livestock registry and find out if it will be implementing USDA's Plan.

Ask the registry:

  • Do you plan to require members to use the USDA's 15-digit Animal Identification Number (AIN) to enter or maintain animals in your registry?
  • Do you plan to require members to use the State's or USDA's premises registration system in order to obtain a breed registration number?
  • Can you please confirm the registry's intentions in writing?

Tell them that you do not want them to be a tool for implementing the government's plan for NAIS!

Next Steps:

  • If they plan to force their members into NAIS, consider finding another association to meet your needs if possible.  If you do leave your association, be sure to tell them why.
  • Spread the word! If you find out that your breed association plans to force NAIS on its members, tell all the people you know who are in that association or considering joining.  Post to the online groups that focus on your type of animal.  Let people know how the association is working against the best interests of its members.
  • Email us to let us know what your breed association says. We'll post a list of organizations that are requiring NAIS and those that aren't.
More Information
 
The USDA published its Business Plan in December of last year. You can download the Plan at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/Government-documents. The Plan sets aggressive targets for implementation of NAIS. One of the strategies for achieving those goals is "harmonization" among various systems that already use individual identification.  Harmonization involves changing the existing programs so they use the NAIS-compliant Animal Identification Numbers (AIN's). (Plan, pp.28-29).
 
As part of its harmonization strategy, USDA lists having breed registries begin using NAIS AIN's in March 2008, less than two months from now. (Plan, p.52). The AIN is a 15-digit internationally unique identification number.  It starts with "840" which identifies the animal as coming from the US. (Plan, p.30).  In order to get an AIN under NAIS, you have to register your property ("premises registration" under the NAIS plan).  The legal effect of this registration is unknown, because there has been nothing like it before - permanent federal registration of citizens' property, linked to an issue (animal ownership) that carries potential liabilities.
 
With this harmonization strategy, USDA plans to use our private associations to force livestock, poultry, and horse owners to register their property and tag their animals under a government program, despite the continued protests of animal owners across the country.
 Contacts for more information
 
Liberty Ark Supporters:  The Liberty Ark email system is still down.  You can contact the Coalition by emailing one of the Steering Committee members, Karin Bergener, at bergener@config.com or calling her at 330-298-0065.
 
FARFA List: As always, you can reach us at info@farmandranchfreedom.org or 866-687-6452 with any questions.
Working together, we can make our voices heard.

Judith McGeary
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
866-687-6452
Posted 01-11-08

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A important message to all livestock owners!
 
If you are opposed to NAIS, you can't hold back and not be involved. The Government is doing a great "sell" job on the uninformed. You need to let others know what the NAIS is all about, in giving up constitutional rights, property rights, and animals to the control of the USDA and state ag agencies. Writing, calling, emailing your state elected officials, state veterinarians, and ag agencies to let them know you are opposed is a good thing to start being involved.
 
Some may be thinking that if I say nothing, they won't know I exist and I won't be forced into it. The states already know where you are if you have ever done state needed veterinary services. Once NAIS is instituted most industries related to livestock will need your premises ID number to conduct business with you. So in the future your feedstore, vet, hay grower, etc will want your premises ID number and without it you may be limited in the services you can have preformed. Some of these industries will be forced by law to inform on you (veterinarians are already targeted in the USDA documentation to report livestock if NAIS goes through). Fines will be placed on some for non-compliance to the mandate. NAIS is serious and as stated many times, opposition will stop it. Even if you have been "forced" into the program or illegally registered by your state, voicing opposition is still needed.
 
Thinking it will not happen or it will go away because a few are fighting it, will not stop it. The fight calls for anyone that owns just one head of livestock to get involved and start working. The few that are fighting as hard as they can to stop it need everyone's voice behind them to make the government see it will not work. Some on these lists don't own livestock, but are consumers or retired from the livestock industry, your voice is just as important to keep our food sources safe and healthy.
 
It is not working here in the US where states have already made it mandatory (lawsuits are being registered against the USDA and states), it is not working in Canada because we are still getting diseased cattle from there, it is not working in Australia (which was the country the US mirrored) because their farmers are as opposed to NLIS as we are to NAIS - reading posts and newsclips coming out of these other countries could have easily been written by any American. The USDA has to promote the NAIS as though it is on schedule and working, it is their best marketing tool. They are concerned if the grassroots effort gets stronger, that it will fail. They try any and all deceit to push this through. It is up to each livestock holder to stand up for their own livestock, get informed and try to let others know what NAIS is about. It can be stopped if everyone does their part by getting involved. Efforts in states that are fighting hard have proven this.
 
IF NAIS should be established here in the US countrywide, it will be impossible to reverse. The time to fight is NOW. In-roads are being made on individual state levels. There are some states that have already pulled out and stopped the NAIS there, so it can be done if everyone gets involved. This is where it needs to be fought from at this time. So IF you value the freedom you have to farm or own livestock now, fight for it and let your bureaucrats know you are not in favor of any mandatory NAIS system of any kind.
 

Before you believe anything on any  NAIS article, the wisest thing any person could do is read the "Official" USDA Documents, all of them, including the State Cooperative Agreements then you will get clear answers, the truth, but be warned once you learn the "Truth" you will be considered mis representing the facts.
 
What the USDA is promoting NOW is a bookend approach, but they are leaving you to believe this is all there is to the program, leaving out very important information such as all the reporting of movements of your livestock and it includes your one chicken, your one horse, your one llama etc. Did you know that the Premises Id number carries with the land FOREVER unless its PAVED over? 

Read the documents at www.naisinfocentral.net  visit http://www.libertyark.net  or http://arkansasanimalproducers.8k.com/ do a  huge amounts of research before you sign up for that "Currently Free Premises Id number" or better yet take it to a lawyer, including the Cooperative Agreements and get there input.  

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Posted 07-19-07  Still think its Voluntary with a capital 'V"?
NAIS update from

Mary-Louise Zanoni
315-386-3199

Note the following final rule published in today's Federal Register (under the misleading Table of Contents heading "Livestock improvement."
This is the final version of an interim rule published in Nov. 2004 which first permitted the use of NAIS premises ID numbers and NAIS individual animal ID numbers as "alternative" numbers for use in brucellosis testing, TB testing, scrapie, and Johnes disease programs.
The background to the final rule now published states that as to all prior numbering systems, USDA/APHIS "anticipate[s] phasing them out as we progress toward full implementation of the NAIS." (72 FR 39301.)
USDA/APHIS also (while not setting a sunset date for older ID systems in this rule) "agree[s] with" the concept that "as soon as possible, a reasonable sunset date for identification numbers other than [NAIS individual animal ID numbers] should be established and communicated to the industry."

Still think NAIS is "voluntary"? Time to wake up.

Not Linked http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/E7-13932.htm


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Posted June 26, 2007

From Mary Zanoni:

The hearing originally scheduled for Thurs. 6/28/2007 in Landis v. Wolff has been cancelled. As described in the article posted by Sharon, the Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture apparently is now conceding that they had no basis for demanding that farmers in their avian-influenza monitoring program accept a federal premises ID. This is a great victory not only for Mr. Landis, who will now be free of the PDA’s efforts at coercion and the threat to his livelihood, but also for other Pennsylvania farmers who participate in avian-flu monitoring, as the PDA has announced an intention to notify everyone in the program that they need not have a federal premises ID.

I will let you know when I have more details about the apparent resolution of the Landis case and about other developments which may assist Pennsylvania farmers who are opposed to premises ID.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Landis v. Wolff, first court challenge to NAIS premises ID


Today the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ordered that a hearing on petitioner's request for a preliminary injunction be held on Thursday, June 28, 2007, at 9:30 am, in Courtroom Number One, Fifth Floor, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The petitioner, Mennonite farmer James Landis, has been notified by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) that he would no longer be allowed to sell the ducks he raises at his Lebanon County farm to their usual markets in New York as of July 1, 2007.  The PDA is trying to compel
Mr. Landis to accept a federal NAIS Premises ID number for his farm.  Mr. Landis has a religious objection which prevents him from accepting the federal premises ID number and he faces the loss of his family's livelihood because of the PDA's actions.

The PDA has been trying to compel farmers to accept federal premises ID numbers despite the fact that a bill to require premises registration failed to become law during the 2005 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
At the federal level, the USDA maintains that its premises ID program is "voluntary."

Mr. Landis is represented by Leonard G. Brown, III, Esquire, of the firm of Clymer & Musser, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 717-299-7101.


Posted 06-01-07
Files have been downloaded for the following working groups:
Swine, Camelid, Sheep, Goats, Cattle, Bison and Equine.
If you own just one of the listed, you need to read the requirements to participate in NAIS.
 
The Poultry Working group recomendations have not yet been accepted by the USDA, but files have been uploaded for the Poultry Working Group.
 

Unless you UNITE as a WHOLE GROUP and speak up LOUD and CLEAR  nothing will change.......They say silence is golden but in this case silence is not golden.  Here is another article on cost, http://www.newswithviews.com/Hannes/doreen3.htm I did my own cost on 4 horses last summer and I came up with over $3,000.00 and then the reporting aspect of it, my figures on that compared to this article is much higher as everyone will want to make money.

All the money that will go into the NAIS is my hay money, so you do the math and then tell me what has to go?.... then we have the fines for an OOPS, Can you afford it? I know I cant and I will not. So what is the point in keeping livestock which in my case is horses if I cant ride them without the fear of being stopped to check for Papers?  Washington is facing the stiffest law that I have read... The fines are $1,000.00 per day per incident, do the math on say 4 horses. You don't want to believe me then here is the proof. http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2007-08/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5204.pdf  when reading this it follows what the Draft plan states. The police have been informed and with the amount of the fines they will be stopping and enforcing due to the size of the fines to increase the city bank account.

I have provided  everyone the help from many very concerned livestock owners, information on the Naisinfo site, information on horses and the deceit that is being used to clearly show that you will have to report and with a capital 'V". All the information is taken from the USDA documents, committee meetings, so  there is no Mis-Information, No-Halt Truths but just the facts! The Cooperative agreements, the laws being written, the information from the USDA also shows that the timelines are being followed  to a T .  I don't know what else to say or do to  get people involved.  

The NAIS is not whether its right or wrong it is about your Freedom to come and go with out being recorded and  watched, what ever  word you want to use. On the  State of Alaska Vet site http://www.dec.state.ak.us/eh/vet/nais.htm   this was posted  which I feel is very odd, the program is SUPPOSE to be to Located animals, Why the location of YOU?

1) Why should I register my premise? So that the OSV and USDA know the location of you and your animals.

Have you ever wondered why our disease list has changed to all FOREIGN DISEASES through the OIE?  I have said it once and I will say it again that the USDA will intentionally infect our healthy herds due to TRADE. Case in  point is the proposal to open Canada borders to allow Cattle in over 30 months of age. Was it not one of the issues to implement NAIS was the first sighting of a BSE cow from Canada in 2003?. And now its up to 9 cases just from Canada.  This OOPS of allowing Canada cattle into the States will have severe consequences to our Healthy herds call 'Stamping Out, Depopulation, Eradication once those cattle are commingled in with our cattle.

To end this I will say  that I'm sick and tired of hearing the "NAIS is Currently Voluntary", It wont be!!!!! Each one of our politicians have been briefed and its obvious they have been because they all say the same canned response , "NAIS is Currently Voluntary". Its all being done via the backdoor methods via the State Cooperative Agreements, The States then will be implementing NAIS... Sara Palin said her bible is the "Constitution" Lets see if in FACT she will live by that. Lets see if she supports our freedoms which include the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

Back to this article, unless you have connected the Dots I see why they choose this chip.....Can you? I also sent out an article from the UK concerning a farmer and the depopulation of his 564 cattle due to an OOPS, not a disease but a big fat OOPS,  and after reading this I can see an OOPS happening with this...  

This will be posted on http://www.naisinfocentral.net

ATTENTION LIVESTOCK OWNERS -EQUINES
The Draft Plan and the Equine Species Working Group RECOMMENDS ISO 11784/11785, 134.2 kHz RFID Chip
WARNING............

by Heather Smith Thomas

Horse owners have a lot of questions about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) plan that USDA wants us to comply with (premises registration, individual identification of our horses, and reporting the movements of horses). We wonder whether we’ll all have to ID our horses and what kind of ID we’ll have to use. Many horsemen already have their horses identified in some way, either for their breed registration and/or theft or loss recovery or proof of ownership—with freeze brands, hot brands, lip tattoos, descriptions of identifying markings on registration papers, DNA parentage, or microchips. Will we have to use an additional ID?
The NAIS plan (which is primarily geared toward farm animals, but includes horses because horses are considered livestock) calls for radio frequency identification devices—such as ear tags with microchips (for cattle, sheep, pigs, etc.) or microchips implanted directly into the animal (for horses). Microchips can be inserted into the middle third of the nuchal ligament (the long, strong ligament that runs from poll to withers) at the top of the horse’s neck. The NAIS plan also specifies a certain type of microchip: the ISO 11784/11785 134.2 kilohertz chip.

THE EQUINE SPECIES WORKING GROUP

When the NAIS plan took shape in 2002-2003, the USDA, in conjunction with the National Institute for American Agriculture (NIAA) created a task force—National Identification Development Team—representing 70 livestock industry groups and government agencies. This team decided they needed to create working groups within each species to represent to USDA what is unique about identification in their species. The American Horse Council had already put together its own task force to look into the NAIS plan, so this group became the Equine Species Working Group—the official liaison between USDA and the horse industry. Its purpose is to evaluate the NAIS plan, recommend ways the horse industry can fit into the NAIS, and develop standards for equine ID that will mesh with the NAIS if it becomes mandatory.
There were originally 35 members on this group, volunteers from various breeds and interests within the horse industry, and people from USDA and a few state departments of agriculture. The ESWG started out with enthusiastic efforts to identify goals and create a working plan for the horse industry, but members have not always been in agreement and membership has kept changing. A smaller number have continued to participate, and there’s been a small core group of members who have determined its direction.
Early on this core group of people, for various reasons, decided it was best to go along with the USDA’s plan—and try to make recommendations that would fit the horse industry a little better than if we wait and have the government tell us what we have to do. As part of that “fitting in”, they decided that microchips would be the best means of individual identification for horses, and that a
certain type of microchip (being pushed by USDA for the livestock industry) would also be the best one for horses. Their recommendation to horse owners to use this chip is stated in their 20 page booklet “National Animal Identification System and Horses” published in May, 2006 (available on the American Horse Council website and the ESWG website).
Jim Morehead, DVM (representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners, on the ESWG) has taken an active role in the ESWG and was instrumental in its formation and organization. He says, “We’re probably looking at microchips for future ID for our horses. It’s the most practical, at this point, with current technology.
The ESWG wants horsemen to use the 134.2 kHz (kilohertz) chip. The particulars on that chip merely say that it has 15 digits (the first 3 being a country code).
“Thus far, this is the only requirement for our horses’ microchips. There is a lot of talk about using bio-thermal chips that also have capability of transmitting the temperature of the horse, rather than just having a number on it. This would probably be more expensive, however, and we don’t yet know how well those chips work. At this point,
what’s important to the ESWG is that the chip have a number, and it has to be an ISO (International Standards Organization) number,” says Morehead.
This particular issue, however, has created a great deal of controversy within and outside the ESWG. The ISO system is a foreign system that the U.S. has never used, up until now. The chips in this system operate at a different frequency than those being used in this country. Many people are wondering why the USDA, and especially the horse industry, suddenly decided to change to this system when we have been using a different microchip system in this country for the past 15 years. At this point in time, there are already more than 800,000 horses and millions of pets microchipped (for permanent and secure ID that enables them to be traced back to their owners if lost or stolen), yet the USDA and ESWG want to throw out this system and start over.

THE “AMERICAN” SYSTEM

Horsemen and pet owners have been using RFID (radio frequency identification device) microchips for a long time—for theft prevention, lost animal and disaster recovery, regulatory needs, etc. Owner contact information (to recover lost or stolen animals, for instance) is kept in a private database and released only upon owner request. This has been a very rapidly growing voluntary system for horse owners, with more than 100,000 scanners currently in place throughout the country. The microchip system in this country operates at a radio frequency of 125 kHz.
The state of Louisiana uses these microchips in efforts to control Equine Infectious Anemia. In order to get their annual Coggins test, horses must have permanent individual ID. It can be a tattoo, freeze brand, microchip—anything unique to that horse— but most owners have chosen microchips. Louisiana made it their official system in 1995. The state veterinarian’s office purchases chips from Destron and distributes them to vets around the state. About 90 percent of horses in Louisiana (more than 200,000 horses) are chipped. This was very helpful after Hurricane Katrina left hundreds of animals homeless. After Katrina, 364 horses were gathered up, and owners were located for all but one, largely because of these microchips.
If any of those horses had ISO 134.2 frequency chips, however, no scanners could have “read” them.
According to Dr. John Wade, a Louisiana veterinarian who has been in private practice since 1980 and has been microchipping horses since 1988 (and head of AVID equine division, a company that makes chips for horses), says that AVID, Destron and other makers of 125 kHz chips are sending out more scanners every day. “Every dog that’s picked up, every horse that’s found, can be identified if it has a 125 kHz microchip. If you call the sheriff’s department or your local pound/shelter, they will scan the animal and tell you who it belongs to within a few minutes,” says Wade.
If a stolen horse might end up at a slaughterhouse, the plants that slaughter horses can be alerted. Federally inspected packing plants that kill horses have scanners and will scan upon request. If there’s report of a theft, they can be asked to look for a bay mare, for instance, and will oblige by scanning any horse that fits that description. If they find that chip number, they’ll hold that horse and not kill it, explains Wade. “The Texas Rangers, brand inspectors and other law enforcement agencies use scanners to identify recovered equines and return them to owners,” he says.
Though his company makes several kinds of chips, including a 134.2 kHz ISO chip (selling those to countries that use it), he doesn’t want to see the U.S. change to this type of chip because it is not a “secure” chip for proof of ownership or animal tracing. “AVID has 10 years of hands-on experience with this foreign microchip system and the problems that accompany it,” says Wade.

THE ISO SYSTEM

WHAT IS THE NAIS?

The NAIS plan and USDA’s strategy for implementing it can be found on USDA website: www.aphis.usda.gov and www.usda.gov/nais. The NAIS is a State-Federal-Industry program administered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The stated objective is an information system to enable animal health officials to respond rapidly to emergencies such as outbreaks of foreign animal diseases or emerging domestic diseases, with animal traceback to farm of origin within 48 hours.
USDA has made cooperative agreements with states and tribes, giving them money to get all premises under their jurisdiction registered. USDA hopes to have 475,000 of the 2 million premises registered by the end of this year. Animal ID began in March, and by June the USDA was making cooperative agreements with private and state animal tracking databases hoping to have all databases functional by February, 2007. The system is voluntary until 2009, at which time the USDA hopes for 100 percent of premises registered and animals identified. After that, the USDA has a contingency plan to make it mandatory “if participation rates are not adequate.”

 

An RFID system used by some countries operates at 134.2 kHz frequency. The International Standards Organization is a group that creates standards for various things marketed in the European community. Since there are many different countries in a relatively small geographic area (similar to the various states in the U.S.) and many companies manufacturing similar products, there needed to be standards between countries and companies. The ISO is made up of representatives from the participating countries and the industries within them; the working groups within the ISO structure are composed of company representatives (technical people).
The next level up are the SC groups, with national delegates from the different national standards organizations that sit on these groups. Countries can opt into different SC groups, where they vote on various standards. At this point there are more than 17,000 ISO standards, on everything from tractor parts to paper sizes.
The particular ISO standard in question for RFID equipment (radio frequency chips and readers) is ISO 11784/11785.
Barbara Masin is part of a company (Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. and Trovan, Ltd, a British company) that has supplied electronic animal ID products for more than 15 years. Their technology is the most widely used today in the field of RFID and has supplied 100s of millions of transponders (microchips) to more than 100 countries, for use in pets, endangered species, fish and many types of animals. The company markets ISO chips as well as “American” chips with other frequencies. As a representative of this company, Masin sits on the board in charge of developing the ISO 11784/85 standard, as a U.S. delegate representing United States interests.
She has serious concerns about the use of this particular RFID system in a national animal identification program because of its shortcomings for this type of application (providing unique identification).
The ISO 11784/85 committee has been involved in addressing the problems that have arisen over the past several years due to use of these chips for animal ID, since numbers on these chips can be easily duplicated. This particular chip system was originally developed in Russia to microchip tractor parts. It came from the need to accurately identify machinery parts for an international community. A scanner in France or Germany, for instance, could read the microchip and tell you what the part was. So the ISO accepted this system, which is a low frequency 134.2 kHz chip. One reason they chose it was because it was a smaller chip and had no proprietary attachments to it (no ownership, no patents) and was free to be used by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
“This standard was originally developed for agricultural equipment, commodities and closed-loop application in livestock, such as individual animal ID in dairy herds,” says Masin. “A farmer could utilize it to monitor the performance of individual animals.” A dairyman using automatic feeding in individual stanchions, for instance, might want to know which cow was which, and which part of the lactation cycle the animal is in, so the feed could be adjusted accordingly.
“In this situation it really doesn’t matter whether or not these chip numbers can be duplicated or reprogrammed, because the farmer is in a closed-loop operation and in control of what’s happening. And with tractor parts, you are merely updating things like maintenance information—like when this item was in for inspection the last time,” explains Masin.
“When this system was developed, the concept was for it to be an open standard. All the ISO standards are published, and any company that is interested can then conform with the published standard. It works very well if you are using it for commodities like copier paper, to make sure the products are the same and will work in various copiers. Then it doesn’t matter if you buy your paper from Xerox or Weyerhauser; if you put it in your photocopy machine it will fit. The same with modem protocols; no matter where I buy them, they can talk to each other. They all conform to the same standard and talk the same language,” she says.
But within the ISO standard there are reprogrammable chips and some can be reprogrammed multiple times. In the beginning, the ISO concept was for unique ID codes for farm animals (one number, unique for life). But ear tags (containing the chips) in cattle, sheep, etc. are often lost. In 2001, the ISO group responsible for standard 11784/85 decided that the solution to this problem would be to allow for retagging the animal with a new tag carrying the same ID number as the lost one. But a farmer can’t wait six months to get a “duplicate” tag from the manufacturer (who can’t stop production to make just a few transponders with duplicate numbers) so ISO allowed for OTP (one time programmable) “blank” microchips that could be programmed with the number of the lost tag.
For retagging with identical numbers ISO allowed for “uniquely identifying up to 7 retaggings of an animal”.
Then reprogrammable tags were also allowed. In a May 31, 2001 ISO document describing their recommendations for replacing lost animal transponders, they stated it would be disastrous if OTPs fall into the wrong hands; “they should be transported in a secure way to issuing stations and must be safely kept. It is a national responsibility that the procedure is followed properly.” Instead of trying to preserve the integrity of the system, they essentially said, “You can duplicate and reprogram these chips, but we are not responsible.”
As Masin points out, problems arise when we begin using this technology for something it was not designed for—such as an open loop approach where there are lots of different animals. “Chipped animals may be part of a national system being used to control compliance (to make sure people are actually doing what they say they are doing, pertaining to animal health, for instance) or to make sure that an animal is indeed the individual with that number when it crosses a state line or goes somewhere else,” says Masin. USDA is not being realistic in thinking we can use this system for dependable animal trace-back to farm of origin, in case of a disease outbreak.
“The problem with using a published open standard like ISO 11784/85 for something that’s needed to provide unique or secure ID is that it won’t work. It would be like our government publishing the standard for dollar bills, telling people what paper to use, what color ink, etc. so anyone could do it,” explains Masin.

LEGALITIES

There are questions about cost (both to the individuals who must conform, and to the taxpayer) and the huge expansion of bureaucracy the NAIS would spawn. The regulations will also be difficult to enforce. There are concerns about having more government intrusions and more control over animal agriculture and horse ownership, and whether the sweeping changes proposed by the NAIS plan are constitutional. Some lawyers are saying that it violates the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and protection of property rights and other fundamental rights). The NAIS may also violate the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause (there are some religious groups who depend on animal agriculture for their way of life and do not believe in using modern technology).
There were also concerns about confidentiality of information on a government database accessible to anyone through the Freedom of Information Act,
but there are also concerns about the present plan for multiple private databases (which will charge a fee for this service); USDA lawyers are presently looking into whether they have the authority to require animal owners to report information to a private entity.
The NAIS has not actually become law. The National Farm Animal Identification Record Act (H.R. 1254) was introduced in the House but has been sitting in committee for more than a year. USDA claims it can enforce the NAIS under the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002, but that law does not provide for individual animal ID and tracking; it addresses import and export of animals, interstate travel, quarantine areas and related programs. USDA is forging ahead on the NAIS program, but time will tell whether they can actually make it mandatory.

 

THE PROBLEM OF DUPLICATE NUMBERS AND EASE OF COUNTERFEITING AND DUPLICATING ISO CHIPS

The drawback in using this type of chip in a national system for purposes of disease trace-back, bio-security or unique ID for proof of ownership or theft prevention/loss recovery is that there is no guarantee of uniqueness of ID codes. There are several ways ID codes can be undermined in any open system. Chips can be ordered factory-programmed, with desired numbers. Some manufacturers also sell reprogrammable chips which are programmable by the user in the field, and indistinguishable from factory programmed chips. Some can be reprogrammed as many times as the user desires, even after being implanted in an animal. Thus anyone can change the ID numbers in an open system.
Since this is an open standard, even if the NAIS gets its chips from selected manufacturers and distributes them through a single entity, this would not prevent ISO chips with duplicate ID numbers from entering the market, since ISO does not enforce compliance with its standards. Three companies have already announced that they will make ID codes to order when the ISO standard is put into place in this country—without going through the Brussels bureaucracy to have the numbers assigned.
In the ISO system, corruption of the ID numbering system is practically built-in. And even for manufacturers who adhere to the ISO honor code, ID numbers can be recycled every 33 years. This is no problem for cattle or pigs but might be a problem for longer lived animals such as horses. The ISO system also stipulates a two year “transition” period (for any changes), which was adequate for the original purpose such as food animals that were marketed within 2 years of life and cycled out of the system in that period of time. But this doesn’t begin to address the ID needs for other animals such as horses or companion animals.
This spring Barbara Masin attended a USDA/APHIS hearing on microchips for pets—the purpose of which was looking at changing the present ID system (the 125 kHz “American” chip already in use) to the ISO 134.2 kHz ISO system. After the meeting she gave a demonstration showing how it is easy to reprogram the ISO standard chip with any number you want.
“There were three people from the USDA and a number of speakers from the companion animal community (various interest groups that represent veterinary organizations, animal shelter organizations, local shelters), and one person from the American Horse Council— Amy Mann—who spoke on why she thought companion animals should have the same ISO chips as horses. I spoke there, and after everyone finished speaking, I gave the demo,” says Masin.
She showed that the ISO chips—whether programmed from the factory, or the OTP (one-time programmable chips that come blank and can be programmed once) or the reprogrammable ones where
you can change the number after it’s in the animal—are visually indistinguishable; they look identical. You also can’t tell them apart with a scanner because they all read the same way.
“There are only two ways to tell the difference. You can dig it out of the animal and have it subjected to microscopic destructive analysis (which is very expensive). Or, if you happen to have the right kind of programmer and the chip doesn’t have a password on it, you can tell. I had several standard ISO chips made by various companies, preprogrammed. I also had reprogrammable chips. I shuffled them around and people could not tell the difference.”
She also had a couple of chips inserted in stuffed animals, and used a programmer (about the size of a deck of cards) to counterfeit (clone) one of the chips. “I scanned the chip in one animal, and the programmer stored the ID number. Then I passed the little programmer over the animal with the programmable chip and duplicated that number. So you don’t even have to key in the number; you just scan one chip and essentially put that number in the other one,” she explains. Anyone with a programmer could make other animals pass for the one with the original number.
The programmers are not expensive. Depending on where you get them, they can be purchased for as low as $160 to $200.
“There are ads in various European publications and websites stating they can supply reprogrammable microchips and low-cost programmers. There are classified ads in newspapers offering low cost confidential provision for duplication of ID numbers,” says Masin.
An ad that appeared in the largest Swedish morning paper translates as follows: “We offer a new chip service. We will change the ID number of the Kennel type chip according to your wishes. Inexpensive. Easy. Fast. Total discretion. Also sale of ISO programming units.” A Spanish language ad in the veterinary publication VETECOM reads: “Specialists in animal accessories. Collars, muzzles...ISO reprogrammable transponders. You can encode all the ID numbers you require as often as you like. Can even be reprogrammed inside the animal. Conforms with ISO Standards 11784 and 11785. Compatible with all reader systems. Can be used in every kind of animal. Also readers for reprogramming.” Thus anyone who wanted to could use this ISO system to their own advantage, for various purposes.
The chips themselves are not very expensive. “If you buy them through a vet you might pay top dollar, but in an industrial market they are less than $5,” says Masin. “
I could take a $5 chip and put it in a horse that looks like a valuable animal and, in essence, I’ve cloned the champion because my horse has its number. An animal from another country could be made to look like one that came from the U.S. or vice versa,” she says.
A person could keep several look-alike animals and register only one, or claim health insurance coverage for 10 animals while taking out a policy on only one. Some jurisdictions require chips as proof of payment for horse vaccination requirements. With ISO 11784/85 chips, horse owners could have just one horse vaccinated while 9 others sport the same identity. By using a WORM (write many, read many) chip that can be reprogrammed as many times as desired, the same animal can change identities throughout its life. In jurisdictions with a ‘dangerous dog’ law that requires an animal to be put down after it bites three times, such a dog could easily have its identity changed by an unscrupulous owner,” says Masin.
Given enough time and money, people can duplicate anything, though it may take more effort to crack a secure system, depending on how high the hurdles are. “With the ISO standard, there is no hurdle
. The standard itself allows duplication of a chip 8 times. There are many vendors, including us, that sell reprogrammable chips. The ISO standard stipulates this because if an ear tag falls off, livestock owners want to give that animal the same number again. If you are restricted to preprogrammed chips you’d be looking at having to go to a wafer fab plant, and they have lead times of six months or longer for computer chips,” she explains.
Another thing to consider, in choosing this system for the NAIS, is that by using the ISO microchip system, we are building in impending obsolescence. The ISO-based system is static and precludes the use of new technologies and advancements because the technical parameters of this chip are rigidly defined. The ISO standard 11784/85, as defined, leaves no room for innovation and improvement. If technological advancements become available, the USDA’s NAIS (and people who chip their horses with this system) will be confronted with a difficult choice. They can continue with out-moded technology or junk this standard and begin a new process of standardization (which took more than 5 years for the current ISO standard) for the new technology for a national system.
Jim Gowan, ESWG member representing the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, says the microchip issue was one of several things his group questioned about the ESWG’s recommendations to USDA and the horse industry. “Chips can be replaced, removed or changed. With today’s technology, how long will microchips be the system of choice? Maybe we don’t want to be locked into this, with chips in all our horses. If something better and more feasible comes along, then we’d have to switch systems and that could be very costly,” he says.
“I think ultimately the best means of ID will probably be instant DNA typing. You can’t tamper with that. If you have a horse entered in an event or race (or traveling across a state line) you would simply prick the horse, take the blood, put it in a scanner or reader, and it would instantly match that horse with its information,” he says. This could be a simpler, more foolproof system, and might alleviate some of the political behind-the-scenes push from vested interests who stand to gain from having all livestock producers and horse owners ID their animals.

THE FLAWS IN THE SYSTEM ARE RECOGNIZED IN EUROPE; WE NEED TO ALSO RECOGNIZE THEM HERE

This is not the “universal” international system that USDA and the ESWG are telling us it is. More than 60 countries besides the USA have not adopted the 134.2 kHz system, and some of the countries that use it are not happy with it.
When it became clear what some of the problems were with this system—especially for unique animal ID—and where the expansion in this market was heading, there was an official complaint by the Russian standards organization (Gosstandart). They made a formal motion requesting that IS0 11784/ll785 be repealed. According to Masin, the Russians said, “There’s a problem here. We don’t have unique ID. This standard is being sold as something that claims to provide unique ID, but it can’t. It’s two mutually incompatible technologies in one standard.” They submitted a long list of issues and said, “Based on these flaws with the standard, which we believe are substantial, this standard should be retracted and sent back to the working groups so it can be fixed.”
The Spanish Veterinary Association also filed a formal complaint with ISO, and the Australian Veterinary Association published an item in its official bulletin outlining problems with the standard. Their list of problems included read distance (which is shorter than other chips being used in Australia), ISO standards not taking into consideration longer life spans of horses and pets, uniqueness of numbers not guaranteed, etc. “There were so many complaints and formal objections that finally the highly unusual step was taken to put these standards to a vote,” says Masin.
The major flaws with the ISO 11784/85 system include the fact that this “standard” is actually two systems in one. The ISO process is based on the work of a committee, and almost always the result of compromise. With a committee involving manufacturers with high-stakes market interests this can be a lengthy political process, with results based on compromises rather than on things like performance, cost control or technical feasibility. At present there are two very different designs involved in the low frequency 134.2 kHz ISO standard chips. Even though only one company markets one type (every other company in the business markets some version of the other type), a political compromise stipulates that the ISO standard incorporate both technologies, which lowers the read speed performance and reliability of the readings. This makes the resulting readers less efficient and more costly than those designed to read a single type of technology.
Other flaws with the ISO 11784/85 standard are its inability to ensure unique ID codes. Being an open standard (in the public domain), it relies on an honor system—with all manufacturers agreeing on who manufactures which numbers, to prevent duplicates. But without legal teeth in the form of patents to thwart production of unsanctioned chips, the ISO standard is susceptible to compromise by manufacturers.
There is no manufacturer accountability.
There is also the problem of transponder performance. Neither IS0 11784 or 11785 stipulates any minimum performance requirements for microchips suitable for use in animals.
Thus a chip that can read at “touching” distance would be fully ISO compliant. Small animal veterinarians around the world have repeatedly expressed strong reservations about systems with such short reading distances and users in the livestock business (and horses) need even greater read range in order for microchips to be effective for them. Thus being ISO compliant is no guarantee of suitability for any given RFID product for use in animals.
So ultimately this was put to a vote in the SC group for that standard, says Masin. “It was a highly political process and very contentious. This group had their own problems with ‘hanging and dimpled chads’ in their vote. Only these were not chads; they were X’s on paper. But they had trouble seeing which columns the X’s were in! They did revotes and recounts. Each vote/recount yielded more votes against the standard, but the last count, which we still believe was incorrect, showed 50 percent of the nations for it and 50 percent against. It was a tie. The way the ISO system works, for an existing standard to go back to committee to be retracted, it has to be at least 50 percent plus 1 vote against the standard. So it was very close. We believe that the entities responsible for doing the counting were beneficiaries of one of the companies that was in favor of having the standard stay as it was,” says Masin.
“Essentially it was short by one vote of having the standard cancelled. So if people say it’s a great international standard, this is not true. In the ISO voting group, half the countries at the national standards level said this is a bad standard. They realize this system is open to fraud,” explains Masin.

WWHAT ABOUT U.S. HORSES TRAVELING TO OTHER COUNTRIES?

One of the arguments we hear as to why our horse industry should use the ISO 11784/85 chips is that this is necessary for international travel. This might be true if horses in the U.S. were considered food animals and were going to another country for human consumption, but the U.S. horses traveling internationally are doing so for sport or breeding purposes and by some definitions would fall into the classification of companion animals, says Masin.
Recent legislation passed in Europe (the “Pet Passport Law”) mentions the types of microchips that may be used. Airports in all European Union nations, including the UK, are required to have readers on hand that are capable of reading Trovan ID-100 chips and 125 kHz unencrypted chips. “Today there are laws in place in the European Union, Japan and Australia—the only jurisdictions that require microchips for companion animals—and all of them make provisions for 125 kHz chips (which is the U.S. basis for horses today) to be read. There is a 125 kHz encrypted chip which is not used in horses (but used in cats and dogs) that is not accommodated, but the ones used in horses (the unencrypted AVID 125 chip, Destron 125 chip, and 128 kHz Trovan chip) are all accommodated,” explains Masin. Basically, if the concern is being able to get your horse into one of these jurisdictions that require chips, there is no problem; they are accepted with the chips they already have.

WHY IS USDA PUSHING FOR THE ISO 11784/85 SYSTEM AND WHY IS THE ESWG GOING ALONG WITH THIS?

People who are aware of problems with the ISO system are wondering why the USDA is dictating the use of this particular kind of chip. “This chip is really not suitable,” says Masin. “When this was being discussed for livestock, our ISO board approached the USDA and attempted to communicate with everyone from Anne Venneman (Secretary of USDA at that time) on down, and we got no return calls. They were not interested in hearing this. I went to the USDA listening sessions and offered to show them the problem with duplication possibilities, but they didn’t want to see it. The situation is very political. There are certain people involved within the USDA who have very close ties to certain manufacturers. There is an underlying agenda, unfortunately, and this is not for the good of the country,” says Masin.
The NAIS is being touted as an anti-bioterrorism measure, but it won’t cut the mustard, especially using these chips. If USDA or our livestock/horse industries tell people this is what they have to use, the first incidence of some serious disease outbreak after the NAIS is implemented will spawn litigation. We have put the USDA on notice, in writing, that this is a problem (so they are aware of it), and if they persist with their plans and use this type of ID anyway, it will be a field day for lawyers,” she says.
If horse owners and livestock producers are forced into a national ID system and then find out it’s not workable because of these flaws, there will be repercussions. There will also be more legal actions and suits by various microchip companies. As one member of the Equine Species Working Group recently stated, “the legal actions will make this thing implode, and then we all will have wasted our time and money working on this.”
The flaws have been well documented, as far back as 1995, says Masin. “It’s very unfortunate that when the discussion at USDA was happening for the livestock standard, it wasn’t an open discussion. Listening sessions were crowd control type;
USDA didn’t want to see any information against the system and didn’t respond to efforts to show them what was actually going on in other countries,” she says. There are still many people who are not aware that this is a poor system and that other countries are unhappy with it.
The frustrating thing about this whole issue is that USDA (and even certain members of the ESWG) seem to want to ignore the fact there are problems, and want to press on with convincing everyone that this is the best system for livestock and horses in the U.S.

http://www.equinechronicle.com/Features/Thomas/thomas_B1006.html

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HOT ALERT: 
This will take a while to download, hear what Dr Thornsberry, President of  R-Calf has to say and how the USDA plans on putting the American Farmer out of business using our tax dollars in South America !!
This must be known!!!!!
Go to the bottom of page 
click on Download MP3s 
once that page comes up go to the next page
find the :Derry Brownfield Show - Thursday, February 22, 2007 
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Dr. Max Thornsberry is the new President of R-CALF, he and Derry discussed much about NAIS and how to defeat it.
#

this will take a while to download, hear what Dr Thornsberry, President of  R-Calf  has to say and how the USDA plans on putting the American Farmer out of business using our tax dollars!!
 

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“…we have many constitutional issues,” [Doug] Flack said of NAIS.

Should the government be able to come take your animals when there is little evidence of disease other than proximity? Is it being implemented legally? Is it even constitutional to track the movements of private property with the aid of a computerized system?
“Livestock animals are legally a form of personal property. It is unprecedented for the United States government to conduct large-scale computer-aided surveillance of its citizens simply because they own a common type of property,” writes New York lawyer Mary Zanoni. “Surveillance of small-scale livestock owners is like the government subjecting people to surveillance for owning a couch, a TV, a lawnmower, or any item of personal property.”

Flack drew a comparison to the Red Scare and the culture of fear seen in Sen. Joseph McCarthy's time. He said that fully-implemented NAIS would also turn vets, feed store operators and slaughterhouses into police for the system. “Basically to turn us in or not do business with us,” Flack said. “This is an extremely serious thing. It's about as bad as it gets.”

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AK Governor Palin stated that her "Bible" is the "Constitution" , We shall see  if she means in it when it comes to Alaska No NAIS!!!!!!!
And What are her thoughts on protecting us in Alaska via the implementation of AGENDA 21 or should I say Sustainable development.. Come on Sarah be the first to tell the people the "TRUTH". You keep saying you have an open and transparent office.

Be Informed, Be Involved
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What the media isn't telling you... 

 

Premises Registration will be an "Official" USDA unique seven Character identifier.
 
In the New User Guide it states on Page 22:
The premises identification number (PIN) is assigned permanently to a geophysical location. If an owner or entity sells his/her farm, the next operators of the premises use the original premises identification number that had been
assigned to that location. If the seller buys a new location to build a new operation that never had livestock, he/she would register that location and obtain a new premises identification number (PIN).

Premises Identification = Encumbrance

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                                    of the Read the Bills Act Coalition

Comments on the site are very welcomed.. If you see something that is in error, point it out, if you have a document that needs posting, provide the information and if its state specific post the state.. This site is for all livestock owners..