Browsing Posts tagged NAIS Bad Idea

Editor’s Note: Past Sec. of Agriculture, now Senator Mike Johanns was the chief NAIS enforcer fighting for a mandatory NAIS just a couple years ago. He was charged with cutting the first deals with Farm Bureau, the Holstein Assn USA Inc, National Pork Producers Council, Indian tribes, the American Angus Assn and every state department of agriculture, providing “grants” to enroll their producer’s premises in NAIS — over one hundred million dollars.

His repentant pleadings and demands for the complete death of NAIS is clear. Seldom does a Senator define their views with this detail and clarity.

Now, for the first time, his presentation is the exact position of the US livestock producer. Finally, a clear defined true picture is offered by a USDA insider who promoted NAIS with his whole heart, then with no notice, resigned, realizing NAIS was devastating to USDA and the producer. This is the voice of experience.

We compliment Senator Johanns for his honesty, at this time.


Ron DeHaven

Dr. W. Ron DeHaven is CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Assn.

USDA Sec. Vilsack announced during the morning of Feb. 5 that NAIS was over, ended, no more.

His customary emotionless announcement was fairly brief, but the detailed USDA Factsheet (Click here for factsheet) released simultaneously required seven pages of small print describing the animal ID “will do’s” and “won’t do’s”–all of which will be enforced at some future date in a to-be-determined manner.

The New York Times reported this based on information from an “unidentified USDA informant.”

At once thousands of emails flew from around the globe with nearly as much excitement outside the US as the home land.

Ranch and cattle producers smiled and nodded.

But it seems the victory may be short lived.

Now comes a lone government employee saying he cannot endorse Sec. Vilsack’s new announcement.

Dr. W. Ron DeHaven is CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Assn. The US veterinarian head count is 100,728 licensed practitioners; of which 930 are Federal Veterinarians, employed by APHIS, and 23 are Homeland Security staff veterinarians.

DeHaven has always been a verbal supporter of mandatory NAIS. He says Vilsack “… has been caving to this public resistance…”

DeHaven’s “public resistance” is the overwhelming majority of livestock producers who opposed the NAIS for a list of reasons that would choke a giraffe.

According to DeHaven, the mag-daddy of veterinarians, none of these “resistors” should have had any voice in the NAIS’s demise, and Secretary Vilsack should not have listened to them.

One gets the feeling he would like to see Vilsack go away, and himself take control.

Then again, DeHaven has shot his mouth off before, under oath. He showed his out-of-touch thinking March 11, 2009 when he testified to the House Committee on Agriculture as a hand picked presenter. He stated, “If the US is to remain competitive or grow export markets, an effective NAIS will be required.”

Evidently unknown to DeHaven, the US has been a net importer of beef for the last 21 years. Last year, the country exported $2,183,977,168 in beef and imported $4,857,454,008.

We haven’t produced enough beef to feed the nation in 21 years, yet DeHaven confidently testified that future exports are imperative.

USDA released their NAIS Fact Sheet February 5. It states:

“What is certain is that animal disease traceability will be required for animals moving in interstate commerce. . .To ensure interstate compatibility and connectivity, APHIS will work with States and Tribal Nations in establishing standards and guidelines where free or low-cost tags will be incorporated as options.”

DeHaven says the AVMA cannot endorse the Vilsack new approach:

“As I understand it, they will let each state and tribal nation more or less develop their own program? So, I’m concerned about interoperability between fifty or more different systems. Will one state be able to talk to another state as an animal moves through interstate commerce?”
DeHaven’s Audio: “Click Here

From this statement, it would appear DeHaven has never processed an interstate veterinarian animal health certificate.

Here is how it works, and has for every veterinarian’s lifetime:

  • An animal is sold into another state.
  • The state receiving the animal has “states rights” and determines the rules of entry.
  • The owner of the sold animal contacts their local veterinarian.
  • The vet has an “Entry Permit Acquisition Book” with phone numbers of every US state and tribe, provided by the USDA.
  • They call the state vet office of destination, talk to an authorized person, receive the required protocol, do what ever health tests are required for entry, complete a standard animal health certificate, receive a permit number to enter the state, and the critter is ready to travel.

This health certificate has four copies of different colors.

  • One copy goes with the hauler,
  • One stays with the local vet,
  • Two go to the state vet of origin, and
  • They forward one copy on to the receiving state vet.

The receiving state has a staff of people who check these incoming certificates every day, and may actually go and inspect the animals after arrival if they have concern.

It has always been required that a permanent ID be on each departing critter. This can be a:

  • Fire brand number,
  • Tattoo,
  • Cheap government metal ear clip,
  • OCV clip, or
  • Other approved ID.

This has been established and is already done.

No animals travel across state lines without ID and a health certificate, and nothing is new about that.

This is a system that has worked for a lifetime, and Vilsack understands the total cost to USDA is zero to continue this process.

This system has been used successfully during every major outbreak of livestock disease in our history.

Currently a huge weight of mistrust hangs over DeHaven, Vilsack, and the USDA. Vilsack says he is well aware of “. . .the downward confidence level NAIS has caused.”

The attempt to shove NAIS down the throat of every livestock producer in the U.S. will-not-be-forgotten, and the USDA may try to resurrect and rename it again–the Every Animal Traceability Tax, (EATT), or the No Cow Left Behind (NCLB)–but the results will be the same.

And another bureaucrat like DeHaven will stand up before some Congressional committee and pretend there is this huge, dangerous, animal disease mountain to climb and that without a NAIS, the food safety of the nation will be imperiled.

Hopefully, that bureaucrat will have enough sense to know we already have a successful interstate commerce system in place, and that all it takes for a producer to comply is to make a phone call to the destination state and do what the receiving state asks.

It’s that simple.

If you eat… you need to stop NAIS


Scenic

The
Wicked NAIS Witch is NOT dead!

February 7th, 2010

Obama gave us a hint of things to come in his recent State of the [Agriculture]
speech. We did not have to wait long before we had “earth-shattering”
news regarding NAIS.  Supposedly the government listened
to the people and responded.  But if you dig deeper you will find out the
truth of the matter.

How many times will global food control be re-defined and transformed?
As many times as it takes to confuse the public into believing that there
is “no global food control scheme”.  Now say the BIG LIE ten times quickly.
The bottom line is that you can shake your head and repeat “there is no
global control scheme” but that is not going to make it reality.    The
NAIS has been passed off safely and securely into international hands,
right on their global food control schedule, 2010.

The re-definition and transformation of NAIS the international food control
players have just tightened their iron-grip, consolidated power, and cast
a broader net.  You can see this clearly in new 2010 legislation/regulation/treaties
and reading in between the political mantra lines.  We now have expanded
the limited three pillar program of Premises Identification, Electronic
Animal Identification, and Tracing…to now include: Animal Health, Animal
Welfare, Veterinary Drugs, Animal Feeding, and Food Safety.

A Total Food Control Package

For clarification:                              Traceability
= NAIS

New Plan

Remember!

1.  NAIS is a Living Document that
will always change and evolve.  You will never know the final rules for
compliance because there will never be any distinguishing rules.

From Government Document obtained
under Public Disclosure

2.  NAIS is one tool in the toolkit.
The global food controllers have just revealed more “tools” in their kit.
We can expect more.

The February 5, 2020 USDA move was an orchestrated
9-11 style move.  Across the country veterinarians, active and retired
were advised of the new “Traceability Framework”.  By noon, the USDA had
disposed of evidence from the NAIS crime scene.  From out of “nowhere”
came resounding support for the new Framework from the AVMA to species
groups.

More documentation will be coming…it is
a matter of what prioritizing the international info ducks.  Stay  tuned.

From the trenches…….

For Immediate Release

February 8, 2010Contact:
Shae Dodson-Chambers, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson@r-calfusa.com

Group Praises USDA for Decision to Abandon NAIS

Washington, D.C. — In a letter sent Friday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian, thanked the United States’ top agriculture official for his “receptiveness to the interests of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers.” On Friday, Vilsack announced he was revising his agency’s prior policy on animal disease traceability and would begin developing a new approach. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) prior policy was the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a policy vehemently opposed by R-CALF USA and its numerous state affiliates.

“The Secretary has signaled he is going back to the drawing board to develop a new system that does not infringe upon the rights and privileges of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers as did NAIS,” Thornsberry said. “This is exactly what we’ve been urging USDA to do for the past five years. Our organization has expended considerable resources trying to put a halt to NAIS, and we’re pleased that our members’ efforts have finally come to fruition.”

Thornsberry said NAIS was conceived and supported by international trade organizations, ear tag manufacturers and multinational meatpackers, and was all about controlling cattle farmers and ranchers and cattle markets, not about controlling and preventing animal diseases.

“Friday’s announcement is a major victory for independent cattle producers, as it marks the first time in a very long time that USDA did not suppress the interests of cattle producers in order to accommodate the self-interests of the dominant meatpackers and their allies,” he said.

R-CALF USA Animal Identification Committee Chair Kenny Fox said that the 8-point plan R-CALF USA submitted last year to USDA as an alternative to NAIS fits within the new framework described by Vilsack on Friday. Fox also serves as president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA), one of R-CALF USA’s largest affiliate organizations.

“Our plan called for the control of disease-related animal identification databases to be vested with state and tribal animal health officials, flexibility in the use of preexisting animal identification devices such as brucellosis tags, no federally mandated premises registration and a renewed emphasis in preventing the introduction of diseases at our borders, all of which are consistent with what USDA announced on Friday,” said Fox.

Thornsberry said this victory was made possible by the thousands of U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers who stood steadfast against NAIS despite the millions of dollars that USDA provided to states and many conventional agricultural organizations in an attempt to enroll as many independent cattle producers as possible into the flawed NAIS system.

“I couldn’t be prouder of R-CALF USA and our state affiliates that never waivered an inch against the extreme pressure applied to our industry by USDA under the previous Administration, by the multinational meatpackers and by the conventional industry trade associations with close ties to both the meatpacking industry and ear tag manufacturers,” he emphasized

“The next step will be to actually help USDA develop the details of this new approach to animal disease traceability, and we will remain directly involved to ensure that the interests of our nation’s independent cattle producers continue to be addressed in this process,” Fox concluded.

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketin! g issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. R-CALF USA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.

The Associated Press misreported this morning that “The USDA Abandons Stalled Animal ID Program.” A press release issued last Friday by the USDA hints at another fate.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will develop a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States, and undertake several other actions to further strengthen its disease prevention and response capabilities.

Did you understand that statement? The USDA, after a 15 city listening tour last summer, has decided listening is highly overrated. They seemed to understand, acknowledging hearing “a wide variety of comments during the listening tour.”

A document on USDA web site said, “Some people were in favor of NAIS, but the vast majority of participants were highly critical of the program. Some of the concerns and criticisms raised included confidentiality, liability, cost, privacy, and religion. There were also concerns about NAIS being the wrong priority for USDA, that the system benefits only large-scale producers, and that NAIS is unnecessary because existing animal identification systems are sufficient.”

So they’re trying to re-invent the program, make it more palatable to people who signaled their willingness to stand at the farm gate, armed and dangerous, to prevent any part of a government mandated NAIS from creeping into their business.

If the USDA has trouble reading the tea leaves, let Lorrie Morgan explain it to you.

To be more specific, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “After concluding our listening tour on the National Animal Identification System in 15 cities across the country, receiving thousands of comments from the public and input from States, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and representatives for small and organic farmers, it is apparent that a new strategy for animal disease traceability is needed. I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard.”

What part of no don’t you understand?

The feedback he was talking about was clear, painfully so. Excruciatingly obvious. As plain as the nose on an anteater’s face.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

Most every small farmer and rancher responded with the kind of “cold, dead fingers” response that would gladden the heart of Charlton Heston. Not to repeat myself but I attended two listening sessions; Jeff City and Omaha. The one lone pro-NAIS speaker in Jeff City never finished his spiel. Fearing for his safety, he fled a very hostile audience in mid-speech. The Omaha crowd wasn’t nearly as angry but their message was the same.

It was “No. Not now. Not ever.”

But an ever optimistic Vilsack announced these basic tenets of an ‘improved’ animal disease traceability program. The new plan will –

* Only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce;
* Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations to provide more flexibility;
* Encourage the use of lower-cost technology; and
* Be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.

“One of my main goals for this new approach is to build a collaborative process for shaping and implementing our framework for animal disease traceability,” said Vilsack. “We are committed to working in partnership with States, Tribal Nations and industry in the coming months to address many of the details of this framework, and giving ample opportunity for farmers and ranchers and the public to provide us with continued input through this process.”

May I call on Lorrie Morgan, again?

The USDA will convene a forum with animal health leaders for the States and Tribal Nations to initiate a dialogue about ‘possible ways of achieving the flexible, coordinated approach to animal disease traceability we envision.’ Let’s hope they invite all the stakeholders and be prepared to duck and cover.

Chuck Jolley is a free lance writer, based in Kansas City, who covers a wide range of ag industry topics for Cattlenetwork.com and Agnetwork.com.

by Richard Oswald – 1/31/2010

Blue MoonYear in and year out, things here stay pretty much the same. We still have death and taxes. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and the North Star is always perfectly positioned above the neighbor’s barn.

But on rare occasions the finer aspects of nature (and people) become a bit less predictable.

The year ended in Langdon the same way it did in the rest of North America, with a Blue Moon. (That’s a full moon at both the beginning and the end of the month.)

It was that kind of year from start to finish. We had a late spring, an unusually cool growing season, rainfall that was nearly double the normal amount, an earthquake, and a difficult harvest followed by blizzards throughout December — all stuff that only happens once in a Blue Moon.

Dump The Pork TaxOnce in a blue moon folks like me get to thinking that some of the out-of-whack things in America might somehow be getting better for our food — and the people who raise it.

The pork checkoff election

A few years back a lot of us were giving high fives when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman took the unusual step of allowing pork producers to decide whether or not to keep the pork check-off — a mandatory fee paid into a marketing fund each time a hog is sold.

Say No To NAISA majority of pork producers voted to repeal the check-off rather than continue funding the agenda of big pork processing corporations. That’s because packers and their best buddies had camouflaged themselves to look like producers instead of end-users.

Small producers were being sold down the river by big agribusiness.

Hog growers were working under contracts with the packers that were harsh and difficult to enforce. Hog raisers couldn’t find reliable markets, and those who tried to compete on their own with the big packers were giving up and leaving the farm in droves.

The revolt against the pork checkoff was one of those blue moon moments.

Glickman answered the will of the farmer, approved a referendum on the check-off, and when a vast majority of producers voted to end it, he certified the results. The check-off tax was dead.

Unfortunately, Glickman left town with the rest of the Clinton administration before the results of the referendum could be enacted. His Bush administration successor, Anne Veneman, set the election results aside, telling producers their voluntarily-funded checkoff project had now essentially become a mandatory federal tax.

For the most part we don’t get to vote on taxes in America. We only get to vote on the people in Congress who establish them. The pork check-off was different. It was voted in by the people who would pay it, and the same people voted it out (until Sec. Veneman intervened).

Sometimes the government just doesn’t seem to hear us very well. It happens over and over.

Mad cow disease

For example, U.S. beef producers wanted to certify their own beef as BSE (Mad Cow Disease) free. It seemed a reasonable request, since we were losing business outside the U.S. because other countries feared that they were importing BSE meat. But the big packers didn’t want that label because it would have allowed small producers to gain an advantage in exports, a coveted retail market.

Even though U.S. producers such as Creekstone Farms and Gateway Beef were going to test for BSE in every animal they sold, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that only the government could test for BSE.

Of course, BSE didn’t come from U.S. beef, but from imports from Canada or Great Britain. The big meat packers didn’t want that to be accepted knowledge because beef imported from Canada and elsewhere can be a cheap source of profit.

Once in a blue moon things change, and “change” was the promise of the Obama campaign in 2008.

Things are definitely looking up, but change is easier to talk about than accomplish. When Mother Nature wants modification to the status quo she lets the chips fall where they may. When man alters things, he too often seeks a consensus of major players: titans of industry, bankers, ranking politicians, and the wealthy. They all want to be in the room together.

Guys like me are generally on the outside looking in, supplying at cost the pure basic commodities big business adulterates for profit.

National animal identification

That brings us to the National Animal Identification System.

The NAIS would require each farm animal to be tagged with a computer chip. Grassroots producers fought against mandatory animal ID throughout most of the Bush years. When President Obama was elected. there was celebration by farm groups because we thought NAIS was finally dead. Or was it?

Producers realized that NAIS ignored the real issues of food safety by putting small family farms at a disadvantage with big agribusiness. Under the NAIS proposal, a farmer with 50 cows and calves on pasture would have to tag all 100 animals.

But a feeder packer with a dozen 10,000 hog confinement buildings only had to report 12 numbers, one for each building. All that information was to be stored in a privately-operated database outside USDA with only “insiders” having access to the records.

NAIS never made sense. Virtually all food safety and pollution problems stem from imperfect processing and imported animals and food products (such as beef scraps from Uruguay), but the government was in effect saying small producers were mostly to blame. After all, NAIS was holding us to higher standards than the real food safety offenders. Animal ID was a way for corporations to shift the blame for their mistakes to farmers who had no control over what happened once their animals left the farm.

Producers geared up to fight NAIS the best they could by attending USDA listening sessions to testify against animal ID. Even when the testimony was overwhelmingly against NAIS, the USDA continued to move ahead with plans for implementation until some in Congress, like Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, were successful in cutting funding to the program.

Tester is a farmer, rancher and livestock owner who is also a U.S. Senator.

If money is the source of all evil, we definitely pulled NAIS up by the roots, persuading the House of Representatives to eliminate funds and the Senate to at least radically curtail them.

Or so we thought. Today, even with funding cut, government and corporate insiders are still talking about NAIS, waiting for their chance to bring it back to life.

I’ve heard that as our nation grows, we must all be willing to give up some of our rights for the good of all. I would agree that’s true when it comes to traffic lights or airport screening.

But food?

Big seed

These days it’s not too unusual for seed companies to sue each other. Lately a single seed company has gotten big enough to control 98 percent of the soybean seed market and 79 percent of corn.

The last time a single entity controlled that much seed was when Adam walked alone in the Garden.

That company, Monsanto, says it needs single-handed control and big profits to enable farmers to feed the hungry. Some farmers reply that all we really need to do our job is freedom of choice to buy seed without fear of economic retribution.

In a rare and uncommon turn of events, the Department of Justice has decided to investigate whether Monsanto’s unusual control of seed markets violates federal antitrust laws.

The last time the U.S. cracked down on this much corporate power was when Teddy Roosevelt played trustbuster 100 years back. That was many moons ago.

It used to be that rulemaking took place in the light of day.

For Americans, sightless regulators blinded by power have been a big problem in agriculture, banking, Wall Street, the futures markets, healthcare, energy… you name it.

But once in awhile, like now, if the problem is big enough, a little light from a Blue Moon is what is needed to start setting things right.

Richard Oswald farms and writes from his home near Langdon, Mo. His column regularly appears at www.dailyyonder.com. Reprinted with permission.

The North Platte Bulletin – Published 1/31/2010
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Washington, D.C. — In a hand-delivered letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, sixteen groups called the agency’s practice of using inadequate international standards and the OTM Rule to leverage global export markets into conformity with weaker disease standards “deplorable.” The OTM Rule was implemented in 2007 and authorizes the importation into the U.S. of older Canadian cattle that have a higher-risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The groups state they disagree with the “uncritical deference” that Vilsack has accorded the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which recently designated both the U.S. and Canada as ‘controlled risk’ countries for BSE. According to a letter R-CALF USA received from Vilsack , the agency believes the OIE’s designation provides assurance that measures are in place in both countries to manage ‘any possible risk of BSE in the cattle population,’ and that cattle and beef can be ‘safely traded by both nations.’

But the groups state that USDA is wrong to rely on the weaker OIE standards and that Vilsack’s stated position is inconsistent with Congress’ mandate “to protect animal health and the health and welfare of the people of the United States by preventing the introduction into or spread within the United States of BSE.” The groups urged Vilsack to carry out his congressional mandate by rescinding the OTM Rule.

The groups state also that Vilsack’s position is directly contradicted by his agency’s own risk assessment model that predicts that under the OTM Rule, the U.S. “will introduce 19 BSE-infected cattle from Canada over the course of 20 years,” and two U.S. cattle would become infected. In addition, the groups state that USDA “estimates the cost to U.S. cattle producers, for the privilege of begin exposed to a heightened risk for BSE from Canadian cattle and beef, would be over $66 million per year (or approx. $1.3 million each week), for which no c! ompensation can be obtained from anyone.”

The letter states that the OTM Rule is a human and animal health issue. “Clearly, the OTM Rule is increasing the risk of introducing BSE into the U.S. from Canada, increasing the risk of infection of BSE in both U.S. cattle and in humans, and causing tens of millions of dollars in financial losses for U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers.”

Along with R-CALF USA, the following 15 organizations joined the letter to urge Vilsack to immediately rescind the OTM Rule: Buckeye Quality Beef Association (OH), Cattle Producers of Washington, Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Missouri Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nevada Live Stock Association, Oregon Livestock Producers Association, Ozarks Property Rights Congress (MO), and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Note: NAIS has won the award for 2009’s most DASTARDLY USDA IDEA. In Ag Sec Vilsack’s listening sessions, designed to find some common ground of appreciation for the USDA brain child, the bribe-riddled NAIS found accumulations of increasing retch with each of 16 town hall style meetings. Livestock people increased dislike with each interpretive spin from USDA. Although the livestock press, USDA state veterinarians and USDA universities defend full-blown NAIS, livestock producers were not willing to relinquish their meager profits for the red tape of a new government enforcement program.

When NAIS was not palatable federally, the USDA split the troops and provided over $150,000,000 in incentives for each state to take NAIS as a state enforcement project. When that costly idea slammed head-on to more resistance, in court and otherwise, now the USDA troops are dividing more. NAIS surveillance is becoming mandatory for certain disease studies. To try and forget the flawed thought of NAIS, new names are now being invented like “animal ID”, “information systems”, “food safety”, “animal health emergency management”, “animal security” and a host of other invented terms, just to sell the same old NAIS enforcement.

Beyond the millions spent to swallow NAIS, now many more millions are being spent to huddle government employees around new brain schemes to sugar-coat livestock surveillance enforcements. The article below is filled with costly processes that will be paid for by livestock owners and create more government jobs.

At a unique time in the history of agriculture production, when cost of goods are increasing, profits are reducing, the USDA is working at mach-speed to increase red tape and cost of doing business. Now, here it comes again, “One Health.”

NIAA meeting examines ‘One Health’
By Drovers news source | Monday, January 04, 2010

“One Health: Implications for Animal Agriculture” is the theme of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), March 15-17 in Kansas City, Mo.

“One Health is a worldwide initiative focused on the interdependencies of human, animal and ecosystem health, and, with this concept comes significantly expanded roles and expectations placed on animal agriculture and professionals within animal agriculture,” states Dr. Tony Forshey, co-chair of NIAA’s Annual Meeting. “The general sessions and committee meetings at NIAA’s Annual Meeting will explore how the initiative may impact the various species and segments within production animal agriculture and animal health management.”

NIAA’s opening general session speakers will look at how the One Health initiative and strategies shift the focus from surveillance to intervention and prevention and how challenges need to be faced collectively rather than in individual silos and disciplines. The lineup of speakers will represent active members on the One Health Commission, representatives from the veterinary and human health community and representatives of animal agriculture.

NIAA’s 11 species-based and issue-based committees–which are open to NIAA members and non-members–will meet on Tuesday afternoon, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17. Issue-based committee meetings include animal care, animal health emergency management, animal health and international trade, animal production food safety and security, emerging diseases, and animal identification and information systems. Species-based committees include cattle, swine, poultry, equine, and sheep and goat. Each committee meeting features its own line-up of nationally recognized speakers.

“NIAA’s annual meeting is an ideal place for producers, animal health and management professionals, animal agriculture extension specialists and all of those involved in animal agriculture–cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and equine–to gather and become better informed and involved regarding One Health,” Forshey adds.

A schedule of events for NIAA’s 2010 annual meeting, meeting registration, list of NIAA committees and hotel information are available at the NIAA Web site. Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for information.

As NAIS becomes a less relevant, useless, bad USDA idea, BEEF Magazine, and other smaller circulation media, grope in the dark hunting some simple benefit, or some lack of pain to encourage NAIS implementation. A wheel barrow load of ideas have been falsely exploited wrongly promising virtues of, profitable source verification, export sales expansion, world trade compliance, useful carcass data for breeders, and even (ho ho ho) economy of application.  All of these fail to hold water, as this article reveals, the NAIS proposed data is “FOR PRIVATE USDA EYES ONLY.”  None of the above promises, virtues, claims or assumptions are of any value to US ranchers, nor ever were.  USDA has squeezed the NAIS purpose down to, “nothing more than information from a phone book,” according to USDA’s chief veterinary officer, John Clifford.
Snicker through this December 14, 2006 Iowa Farmer Today article, from their archives, resurrected from the dead, for the December 2009 issue, designed to entice livestock producers to fear not, and try to dance with NAIS one more song.  The thrust — bring in enough attorneys and it can be simplified enough to be palatable?    What!!!
Darol Dickinson, www.naisSTINKS.com

Financial Sense Editorials

NAIS privacy not black and white issue

By Gene Lucht and Jeff DeYoung, Iowa Farmer Today
Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:27 AM CST

Privacy has been a central issue in the debate over whether to make a National Animal Identification System mandatory or voluntary.

“It’s a legitimate concern,” says Doug O’Brien, a staff attorney at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines.

But, O’Brien, who also works at the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas, says the issues are not black and white. Instead, they are shades of gray. Many could be addressed in the drafting of legislation that could be written to implement a national system.

“It’s fairly complicated,” O’Brien says of an ID program. “The ground is shifting on this.”

But, in the debate over a mandatory vs. a voluntary plan, privacy has been a driving factor.

John Clifford, USDA’s chief veterinary officer at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), agrees privacy has been a central issue.

“Confidentiality is definitely a concern to the private sector,” Clifford says. “We will have the premises identification database, which is nothing more than information from a phone book.

“Federal law will protect the confidential information from disclosure. We will have access to that data in the event of an occurrence.”

O’Brien says that could be addressed in a mandatory system.

There are really two confidentiality issues, he explains. The first is over whether information about animals and their owners could be gotten from the government through a Freedom of Information request. The federal Freedom of Information Act requests would appear to apply to any information gathered by the government about animals.

But, O’Brien says there are nine exemptions to the act that are stipulated in the law, and several could reasonably apply to this situation. For example, there is an exception for confidential business information. Another protects released information that would make it difficult to run a program. These items have been factors in the federal price-reporting law.

Those concerns could be addressed by writing specific statute language that would prohibit such release of information.

The second concern is the potential for government agencies to share the information gathered for a government program.

Again, that could be handled through specific language in a new ID law or it could be part of language to be included in contracts between farmers and the government, O’Brien says.

There are privacy concerns with private ownership of information in a voluntary program.

Farmers might want to make sure federal code or contracts with those private groups would ban the selling of sharing of that information with private groups that might try to use the information for their private gain.

Dec. 4 Deadline for USDA Comments

December 2, 2009 Editor — Brad Headtel, National Assn. of Farm Animal Welfare. Ag.Ed@nafaw.org

Cattle raisers across the nation are allowed only a few hours to submit comments about changes in the bovine tuberculosis (TB) program. The deadline for submission is Friday, Dec. 4. Opposition to this new enforcement is offered a comment period, but very little time to respond.

The Notice of Availability of a Bovine Tuberculosis Program Concept Paper was posted in the Oct. 5 Federal Register for those carefully hunting each new government action in the fine print

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is seeking comments to change the cooperative federal-state-industry effort to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from cattle in the United States. Since the program’s inception in 1917, significant progress has been made, and TB is almost eradicated. However, several challenges impede eradication including the refusal of state and federal wildlife herds and their lack of health management.

Cattlemen have expressed concern that this program may lead to the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). USDA uses a number of quasi health issues to invoke mandatory NAIS. This appears to be one opportunity for a segment mandatory enforcement.

The Sec of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack authorized listening sessions to review opinions about NAIS during the past Summer. Over 95% of respondents opposed any type of NAIS tax or enforcement. This poorly thought-out USDA concept is not popular among any livestock producers, in any form.

To submit comments electronically, go to http://www.regulations.gov/.
Search for the docket using the keyword “APHIS-2009-0073.”

Comments can also be sent by mail. Send two copies of your comments to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0073, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

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