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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I am not anti-Government

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NAIS Reading;

Link removed see here


Granny Warriors

Animals Not Needing Identification ~USDA

Plan for Tracking Animals Meets Farmers’ Resistance ~New York Times

Cattle-Mark of the Beast

Mark of the Beast

The USDA Shell Game on "Voluntary" versus "Mandatory" Participation in NAIS By Randy Givens

Sold Out by Farm Bureau by Karin Bergener

Animal ID Big Issue For Small Producers In Northeast States By David Bowser

link removed, see here

Why You Should Oppose the USDA's Mandatory Property and Animal Surveillance Program

SAY NO TO NAIS! {petition}

Joyce Morrison ~ 4H vs. Big Brother


Ban Terminator - Join the Global Campaign

I just received an article in my e-mail that scared me. No, not scared. . . terrified.

Some times the rural living and homesteading magazines can seem very anti-government when you first start reading them. I know this, because that was the feeling I got. But it isn't so much anti-government as it is anti-big brother. Governmental newspeak will entice most people to follow along, money does the same.

The longer you homestead, the more you invest your money to do right by your family, neighbors, environment and well being, the more things you notice. You don't become paranoid, you become conscious. And then. . . then you become scared.

I implore, I beg, I plead with my readers to read this article; The USDA's National Animal Identification System. Why? Because I want you to know what your elected government wants to do to homesteaders and small farmers. This effects all of us. The only people that benefit are large scale producers. They will put a monopoly on your food.

I also suggest reading National Animal ID Program Backstops Agribusiness While Small-Farm System Offers Real Disease Answers, and even reading it straight from the USDA.

You can play it safe, and allow this to happen by doing nothing. Or you can at least consider saving the small scale farmer and homesteaders, not only by buying your food from the farm markets, {Voting with Dollars} but signing Help Stop the USDA from Taking Away Our Livestock and Our Pets, and read more about the movement to stop the USDA and finding local groups by visiting NO NAIS.

The Monsanto Company supports this, they too want to control the worlds food supply by creating the terminator seed.

While your at it, stop by Family Farm Defenders.

I might have stuck my neck out by posting this. By standing up to the USA government I could bring more attention to myself then I would like. I just hope that you too will stand by me. I know paranoid much? Why would they pay attention to the small homesteader? Why indeed. There are many of us that are standing up to them, anyone of us could be picked out to be an example. No, not paranoid, aware.


Wren said...

I've been opposed to this, as it stands now, since I first heard of it a year or more ago. It is wrong is so many ways that I can't even begin to list them. I can see where there may come a day that we need to know the origin, thanks to MadCow and Bird Flu, but I don't think this is a workable program.
The Farm Bureau supports some form of it, but they have some suggestions.
Things like keep it simple for the Producer---very important word--producer.
They advocate a cost sharing program with the feds to keep it from being a burden to the producer.
They have 2 suggestions that make the whole thing much more palatable to me. First is that their must be changes made to the Freedom of Information act to allow for exclusion of this information under that act. In fairness to the producer, this information must be confidential. The other is the requirement that this information be kept in a private datatbase and not become a part of the government's massive database.

Now, can I borrow your blog for my own rant? Another bill you should be watching is Prop 204 in Arizona. This would make it a crime to confine a sow or calf. I never raised veal, and I wouldn't eat it under any circumstances, so I won't comment on that portion. But, I do know about sows. We confined our sows immediately before farrowing and kept them that way for a period of time afterwards-until the pigs were a bit bigger, faster, and more able to protect themselves. Before we got our farrowing crates, we lost way too many pigs when they were crushed by their mom. It was a pretty horrible death. We never lost any that way with the crate--except a sick one who wasn't going to make it anyway. Sure, she wasn't happy about the confinement, but the crates were large enough for her to stand, lie down, she had food and water, and she was turned out 3 times a day for exercise. I operated my farm with the mantra that what was good for my animals was good for me--and the opposite also applies.
The idea that someone in the government might someday declare me a criminal because my sow was confined leaves me cold. Once a law like this gets its toe in the door, it is liable to spread to other states.

And, that's my rant for today. ;-)

One4worldpeace said...

So I go and I look at this, as I have read about this bill before and it still hits me as being so broad and full of holes, that it can't be done.

You can't number every animal in the US, and once the meat is sold to the slaughterhouse and killed and ground up, it's mixed with a hundred others, so I don't see how they plan on back tracking it back to one small farm.

Does this bill effect people who don't plan on selling meat, just raising it for personal consumption? If so can you call your chickens your "pets" and get out of this? My rabbit is a pet, so why would 4 H require me to call it a farm animal. See why I think this is too far reaching? (yeah I know, chip your pets too, it's a good idea)

ahh, it's late, and I'm tired, so I'll go think about this a bit more and get back to you.

Phelan said...

TW, I hadn't heard of not allowing them to crate. One state is trying to make crating or warehouse laying mandatory for chickens because of the "avian flu"

one, I had written out a long and parinoidish reply. But I found a letter that was writen by a local woman to the Kansas Govener that I think might make things more clearer;

"Dear Madam & Sirs:

As a taxpayer in the State of Kansas I am writing to say that I strongly oppose the implementation of the National Animal Identification System. Agribusiness, specifically The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), lobbied the USDA (after 9/11 and subsequent BSE scares) to create the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) supposedly to protect U.S. citizens and their animals from diseases. The NIAA is composed primarily of two groups – (1) large corporate producers and (2) the makers and producers of animal ID equipment. In April 2002 a task force composed of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and over 30 livestock organizations provided leadership in creating the animal identification system. Small-scale farmers involved in animal husbandry, homesteaders, and animal hobbyists were not represented. Language quoted from the Draft Strategic Plan proves this, “APHIS then established the National Identification Development Team (NIDT), a joint, State, Federal, and industry group to further advance this effort. Throughout 2003, the NIDT, consisting of approximately 100 animal and livestock industry professionals representing more than 70 associations, organizations, and government agencies, expanded upon the work plan to produce the initial draft of the U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP).” (Plan, p. 4) While associations, organizations, etc. may be backing the NAIS, they did not inform their members of this proposed legislation. Chances are the members still have no idea that their freedoms are being given away.

I am writing in opposition of the National Animal Identification System because:

(1) Should the NAIS become law, we will be forced to pay fees to register our farms and animals. “Even with public funding, there will be costs to producers.” (Plan, p. 11)
(2) We will be forced to report to the national animal records repository within a short-term specified timeframe the birth, death, and loss of identification device, sale, or movement of any animal in our possession.
(3) We will be required to report to the national animal records repository when an animal we own attends a livestock show, participates in a trail ride, is transported to another farm for stud service, or takes part in a community parade, etc.
(4) Our personal information collected through NAIS could be disclosed – “…the USDA cannot assure the confidentiality of all the information at the present time.” (Plan, p. 15) Financial institutions were not able to keep this information confidential, so it is no surprise that USDA cannot guarantee confidentiality.
(5) The NAIS will violate the religious beliefs of minority faith communities by requiring them to become part of this computerized, technology-dependent system or abandon the livestock ownership necessary for their way of life. (Many adherents raise their own food animals and use animals in farming and for transportation. Some, by scriptural teaching, would refuse to take the “mark” of such a numbering system.)
(6) Our livestock would become part of the “national herd.” (Plan, p. 8)

Not only would small farm operators be negatively affected by the NAIS, but this legislation will do serious damage to feed store owners, farm supply houses, hatcheries that sell and ship day-old poultry, and other businesses frequented by farmers. Already there are reports of feed stores requiring customers to provide personal information before they will sell items such as dog food, livestock, and poultry feeds.

The most common types of meat contamination in the U.S. are the occurrences of pathogens such as Listeria or E. Coli in processed meat. When meat becomes contaminated at a large packing plant, millions of consumers in all 50 states are exposed to the dangerous product. Government should enact a law to closer scrutinize the large commercial confinement food sources such as the giant broiler operations, the feed yards that produce beef, the large commercial turkey operations, laying houses, and the confinement hog farms. Because of over-crowded conditions and the general biological by-products of animal production, these are the places most likely to contribute in the spreading of infectious disease, not on the premises of small producers. If our government is indeed concerned with BSE, why does it not test every slaughtered animal? In fact, if you look at the USDA’s prior actions, you will see it does not care to test every animal slaughtered and in fact forbids it. After the mad-cow scare in 2003, Kansas based Creekstone Farms in Ark City asked the USDA for permission to test every animal slaughtered at its facility, at it’s own expense, so that it could continue to export its beef to Japan, however, the USDA forbid such testing. The reason, it seems, is because large-scale packing plants like Tyson, Smithfield, Swift & Co., and Excel Corp. do not want to do such intensive testing and these companies control approximately 80% of the meat-packing industry. As a result of this decision, and the loss of export to Japan, Creekstone had to lay off approximately 150 of its 800 workers.

Because small-scale farmers were not informed of the proposed NAIS legislation, it appears that we are willing to enter a ‘voluntary’ program as a justification of making the NAIS mandatory. We are not. Please protect the rights of those who have had no representation and, ironically, the very ones that have the most to lose – our very way of life.

Implementing the NAIS is a move that I would associate with a Communist type of government, one where the citizens have no rights but are commanded by the Government in every facet of life. This program would create millions of criminals out of honest people on the small family farms and homesteads; those who refuse to surrender their rights without a fight. The NAIS and this type of program is in direct opposition to the core values that this country was built upon!

The projected estimate for implementation of this plan is 33 billion dollars. Let that sink in for a second. $33,000,000,000.00 to simply implement the plan. That doesn’t include the costs to maintain it once it’s begun. That is $115.78 for every single man, woman and child in the US. It does not include the costs for farmers to microchip their animals either, so those who raise the food get to pay even more for this plan. Those who raise food for their own consumption have absolutely no way of recouping the cost of this program, either, whereas commercial operations will pass the cost onto the consumer.

This plan cannot and will not do anything to make our food supply safer at all. It’s purportedly necessary to protect us from potential bio-terrorism. How? It’s impossible to protect anything through registration. The only thing that can be done is to trace its movements from point A to B to C, on and on ad infintum, and destroy the small farmer’s ability to provide for themselves. This plan will create a veritable monopoly by corporate agriculture and thereby seriously endanger our national economy and our food supply by creating a society that is 100 percent dependent on the government for their food needs. We saw what happens when people rely solely on the government when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. How many thousands of individuals were incapable of making their way to safer ground? How many thousands REFUSED to make their way to safer ground because they felt 'entitled' to be rescued by the government? I live in southwest Kansas in a small, rural community and yet I heard of the possible devastation that hurricane Katrina was likely to produce long before the storm reached shore, why is it then that those in the path of the storm did not take the necessary steps to ensure their safety? The answer to that question is because already we have millions of American citizens completely dependent on the government for their every need. They are the ones who cry out to the news cameras, "Get us out of here!!" when sheltered at the Super Dome. Those of us who value self-sufficiency and personal responsibility reject this mindset wholeheartedly! f the real purpose of NAIS is to track the food supply for instances like mad cow disease then:

1) NAIS is not necessary for horses, donkeys, guardian animals or other non-food animals - these animals are not going to enter the human food chain in our country and should NOT be tracked by the government. There are already safeguards in place for preventing the spread of disease in horses. Regulations that would require implantation of a chip to track movement and registration of premises keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates is an invasion of privacy and makes no sense for a hobby farmer who raises alpacas or a family with a pet pony.

2) NAIS is not necessary for sales direct to the consumer from the farm. In these cases there is already far better tracking of the food chain. I am more confident in the safety of food raised on small farms than that which is commercially raised in confined, disease-promoting environments, pumped full of vaccines and antibiotics to counter the effect of confinement and mass slaughtered in unsanitary packing plants where the employees have no personal pride on the quality of the product they touch each and every day. If NAIS is forced on small hobby farmers and homesteaders, hundreds of thousands if not millions of individuals may have to give up farming if they cannot afford expensive RFID readers or cannot keep up with the excessive reporting required by NAIS.

3) NAIS should not be at all involved with people who are raising livestock for their own family consumption. They know exactly where the food came from - they raised it. There is no need to have any government involved in our own kitchens and food that we raise in our own backyards. I see raising food for our families as a basic human right that should not be interfered with by government.

4) NAIS is a violation of the religious freedoms of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply. For example, the Amish choose to farm and live without technology according to their beliefs and this system is a threat to their way of life.

NAIS if implemented, should be required only for those large commercial operations where the health, welfare, and safety of livestock is disregarded in favor of profit. Commercial operations are responsible for the bulk of the meat and dairy product consumed throughout the United States, and they are responsible for the vast majority of disease and illness and contamination found in these products. They can absorb the cost of such an endeavor; the small family farmer cannot and should not!

Inclusion of small farmers, homesteaders, and backyard hobbyists requiring identification of animals that will never make it into in the food chain, or even requiring pets be identified strongly suggests ulterior motives by the government such as invasion of privacy. The plan, as it stands, will undoubtedly result in financial hardship for those already at risk, serving only to enhance the bottom line of special interest groups. Further, the overwhelming scope of such an endeavor begs failure as tracking the movement of animals, such as horses, will require considerable resources while providing no subsequent value to protection of the food chain. The government is incapable of securing our borders against illegal immigration, it is incapable of monitoring foreign students who enter the U.S. with student visas who then disappear without a trace, why then should we believe that our government would be capable of tracking every single animal born for the entirety of it's life? Even those members of Government who promote this plan realize this is impossible, which is why the sole responsibility has been placed squarely on the shoulders of those individuals who do not accept this program! As such, any failures will be a result of owner error and will result in fines being levied on these individuals. The government is implementing a program that they know cannot work while taking no responsibility for its failures!

I ask that you familiarize yourself with the details of the National Animal Identification System and consider the consequences to the personal freedoms and religious beliefs which our forefathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters have fought and died for, and continue to fight, so bravely to defend. I request that you reply to me with your stand on this issue and that you remember your oath to protect and defend the Constitution of these United States of America against enemies foreign or domestic. In my humble opinion this is the most destructive proposal against personal liberty that I have yet to encounter.


Homesteading Today

Carl said...

I have written my state senator on the NAIS issue here in missour.

If you want to see his response to my letter the link is in our farms forum that is more of a catagorized blog to me.

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