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Saturday, December 15, 2007

NAIS and The Nation

Yesterday, The Nation, posted an article on NAIS, USDA Bets the Farm an Animal ID Program.

It is a very well written and thought out article. And finally a media source talks about the extinction of some of our heritage livestock if NAIS is implemented.

But NAIS might destroy far more than farmers' markets. In the past fifty years, industrial agriculture has promoted a handful of high-performance breeds so aggressively that the genetic diversity of livestock has been decimated in developed economies and is rapidly accelerating in developing countries, according to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Since 2000, at least one livestock breed has disappeared every month, and roughly 20 percent of the world's livestock breeds are at risk of extinction, according to the report. Perhaps the cruelest irony of NAIS is that by hastening the demise of genetic diversity it may ultimately expose the food supply to catastrophic and irreversible risks.

Like I said, you want to save an animal, you eat it.

Donkey, his breed is on the "watch" list.

Marina, he is now approaching me without a bribe of food. He wants to be nuzzled like I do the goats.

Of course Donkey isn't the only one, cottage cattle are on the decline as well as many of the chickens. My husband and I are trying our hardest to buy only those that are on the list. It is difficult because they can be very pricey, but these animals need our help, all of us. My new chicken order consists of only endangered birds. Some of them are ugly, but that isn't the point. I don't want the GM birds, I want the heritage birds.

Side note: Does anyone have a standard Jenny that they wish to sell me? Or know of someone that has one? Firefly needs a breeding mate. There is a limit on the amount of money I can afford, and please, untagged.


Marina said...

Cool re: Donkey. I figured he'd warm up to you eventually.

If you can't find a jenny to buy, see if someone will trade Serenity with you... looks like we are getting rid of everyone except chickens, Boudreaux, and cats, and will concentrate on plant life (the food's cheaper).

Phelan said...

Serenity is gorgous! You could make out well selling her. I got an email about some horse auctions where the donkey's are selling for under $50. What are you doing with your sheep? I know the males can't breed, but I would like to buy your one female, and see if we can find a mate for her.

Marina said...

We can probably bring her with Firefly. At this point, covering the cost of getting them up there would help tremendously.

Gina said...

Glad one media source is getting around to the negs of NAIS.

We try to keep only the heritage breeds too, but as you said, it does get pricey.

So far, we have the Irish Dexters which I think are on the "watch" (or recovered) list (I'll have to look it up again). Black Welsh Mtn. Sheep, another "watch" breed (I hope to add Jacob next year) and Cuckoo Maran chickens I can't remember at the moment how rare they are). they are heritage, but may not be too rare).

I want to get a heritage breed of pigs when we find more land.

I forget: what breed is Donkey?

Phelan said...

Marina, no worries, we will talk.

Gina, Donkey is a karakul.

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