NAIS ~~~~ a COCKSURE CONJECTURE
By Darol Dickinson
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS), proposed by profit motive industries, the World Trade Organization and fund-hungry USDA branches are riddled with pabulum substance quotes. Different from the factual Eisenhower, but similar in that quotes are coming from high up leadership with degrees as long as a wagon tongue; today’s honesty is sickly void. As highly paid government employees make poorly thought-out quotes, their numbers often reflect the serious need of a $3 Chinese calculator.
A Time To Be Serious
With up to 2000 U.S. ranchers going belly up per month, grandiose quotes of great profit from beef exports quickly perk the ear of hard working livestock people. Even though they seldom check the numbers, USDA leaders can tease a rancher off a cliff with a grandiose profit theory.
In a recent Beef Magazine article called “Put up or shut up” the author quoted, “If we do nothing and we lose market access……the losses would amount to $18.25/head if we do not adopt NAIS and we lose 25% of export market share.”
Only Listen to Exact Data
What is market share? Last year, 2008, the USA exported beef, live and processed, a total value of $2,876,906,000. The same year the USA imported beef, live and processed, paying exactly $4,764,392,000. In simple terms, this means the US doesn’t produce enough beef to feed the nation and nearly two billion dollars worth of beef must be imported. Annually this data changes very little.
If export sales are reduced there will not be a need to import as much product. If export sales are increased there will be a need to import that much more to feed the nation. Therefore, all the scuttlebutt about increasing exports to help ranchers be more profitable is no more than Botox verbiage.
The $18.25/head loss without NAIS on all 97,000,000 U.S. cattle equals $1,770,250.000. Wow, that causes most of the whole export income to go away. Perhaps the $18.25 figure was slightly exaggerated – like a 93% exaggeration! Today, not a single country requires animal tracing to purchase USA beef.
The King of Exaggerations
NCBA president and NAIS advocate, Gary Voogt says, “We’re working hard to open trade with Japan, which could add $50 per head to your bottom line.” That means Japan beef sales alone would be worth $4,850,000,000. Where would this beef product come from? Perhaps it could be imported to the USA and resold to Japan? Please, some kind soul, give Mr. Voogt a calculator!
Why are these inflated false export numbers pumped to cattle producers by college professors, USDA employees and NCBA? Perhaps as a last ditch effort, NAIS could be packaged to livestock producers pretending it will increase export sales.
The USA Can Not Feed the USA
The US continues annually to under-produce beef for the domestic market. In 2008 it under-produced by 294,000 metric tones, the equivalent of about 648 million pounds of beef.
Doing the Bird Spin
According to the American Bird Conservancy, “..scientist estimate that nationwide, cats kill hundreds of millions of song birds, and small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks each year.” In their “hate the neighbor’s cat” efforts, they carefully failed to mention reliable estimates of over 18 billion field mice, known to be major disease carriers, also eliminated by serious roaming cats. This is the same type of twisted conjecture data used by USDA and quasi college professors to encourage unqualified decisions on NAIS.
NAIS Is A Non USA Concept
This leads us to the fact that USDA’s radical NAIS concept did not originate on U.S. soil and was not predicated on a need to improve the United States’ ability to control the spread of animal diseases. It was not a rapid solution plan sparked by the highly publicized case of BSE. Instead, the impetus for NAIS was the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) goal, formulated in 1995, of facilitating international trade through the liberalization of international trade rules. BSE was an opportune excuse for NAIS 10 years after USDA’s Neil Hammerschmidtz laid out the first plans for mandatory animal ID enforcement.
The explication that export buyers are clamoring for “farm to fork” traceability of U.S. beef may be a quote with the same cocksure conjecture as song birds and field mice. If two Japanese consumers say something, perhaps that could qualify it as a “clamor.”
Dr. Ted Schroeder NCAI conference Aug. 26 said, “…if all beef export markets were to be closed to the U.S. industry, it would cost producers $9.1 million for the first day and $3.3 billion in one year.”
Another USDA cocksure exaggeration is that an outbreak of Foot & Mouth would sweep across Kansas over night and destroy the whole beef business. If that is a valid possibility, why doesn’t USDA encourage livestock producers to use Foot & Mouth vaccine? F & M is a disease of the skin, it is not fatal, and doesn’t contaminate the meat for human consumption. Why will it kill the cattle industry over night?
Official Wolf, Wolf, Wolf
USDA Listening Session NAIS Directors in every state have told livestock producers that an outbreak of anthrax would devastate the USA cattle business. What about the 7 counties in Texas that have anthrax regularly and have found that an eighty-cent vaccination provides protection? Commerce from those counties is not adversely affected by anthrax. Why falsely overstate these invented pandemics that historic pharmaceutical companies have already dealt with years ago – and solved?
W. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO reveals his out of touch swivel chair knowledge saying, “if the United States is to remain competitive or grow export markets, an effective NAIS will be required.” Unfortunately, cocksure DeHaven, in his Congressional report, does not know that the USA is a net import nation and has not produced enough beef to feed the nation for several dozen years. No export expansion is needed. Wake up Dr.DeHaven, you are still living in 1940!
USDA’s animal health safeguarding systems have largely stayed ahead of evolving risks and have been highly effective in preventing the introduction of serious animal diseases such as F & M into the United States. This is according to Dr. John Clifford, USDA/APHIS.
CEO Calls His Own Association Outdated
Dr. W. Ron Dehaven is Executive VP, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Assn., established in 1863. He states, “AVMA is the largest veterinary medical association in the world.” DeHaven stated before congress March 11, 2009 that “….the current outdated system which often relies on outdated paper trail systems…” is not adequate today in the case of an animal disease outbreak. Yet in total contradiction, DeHaven says these veterinarians are “highly trained professionals.” It can’t be both!
What staff is available in case of a major disease? Currently there are 100,728 USDA licensed veterinarians. The U.S. Government has 930 Federal Veterinarians, most employed by APHIS, plus Homeland Security has 23 staff veterinarians. Still USDA employees say they are not prepared for a disease problem. They demand a new NAIS tag in every critter, and the owners must pay the total cost of monitoring, application and enforcement.
In the USA, today, every licensed practicing food animal veterinarian is a validated, accredited USDA veterinarian. All are trained in disease identification. Each veterinarian can quarantine a whole state at a moments notice, from the field. These veterinarians report the diseases and contain them, not people behind desks like DeHaven and Clifford who, most often, are the last to know. No country has the trained veterinarians like the USA anywhere in the world, and that is why there is less disease in the US, and less need for NAIS.
Major Diseases Eliminated With Pioneer Staff
When Texas had rampant F & M during the twenties, how did they eliminate it with less than 3% of the current budget and less than 5% of the current number of federal veterinarian staff? How did they do it with no cell phones, fax machines, modern vaccines, jet travel, and most communication was done by train or horse and buggy. How did they eliminate screw worms and scabies during the same period and hammered anthrax down to an easily controlled disease by developing a valid vaccine?
How did Mexico eliminate F & M with less budget and staff than the USDA? Their staff often traveled by burro.
Dr. Clifford and DeHaven, when you testify to Congress that you have a professional staff, but you aren’t technically astute enough to control a future disease outbreak; you demand to have every livestock owner help you NAIS number every animal!
Your NAIS conjecture is cocksure. You should resign!
You are doing a pitiful job, and honesty is not your calling!