July 24, 2024
Subscribe      | Give       | Join      | RenewACTION ALERT: New Developments! Urge Your Senator to Oppose Mandatory Electronic ID!Strength in Numbers  Dear Kirk,
As you may have read in earlier emails or articles, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has been opposing the new USDA rule that requires mandatory visual and electronic identification of any cattle or bison that cross state lines.
There have been a couple of new developments and FTLCLDF could really use your help.
Background on RFID Ear Tags
As a reminder, in late April 2024, the UDSA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service(APHIS) finalized a rule that would require the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on any cattle and bison moving in interstate commerce.
The rule benefits large meatpackers, while increasing cost, burden and risk for America’s independent ranchers and farmers. This is in part because the rule allows large meatpackers to obtain only one identification number for animals kept together from birth to slaughter, which is the model of the big feed yard, or CAFOs.
In contrast, independent ranchers and farmers would be required to have different numbered tags, and the electronic equipment and infrastructure to monitor each individual animal. CLICK HERE for more on RFID tags.
Pending Solutions
There are two separate pending solutions to this USDA APHIS rule, and FTCLDF recommends that you support both.

Rep. Hageman and Sen. Lummis Joint Resolution
Rep. Harriet Hageman (R – WY) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R – WY) introduced a resolution pursuant to the Congressional Review Act that would nullify the new APHIS rule.
FTCLDF encourages you to contact your U.S. Congressional Representatives and U.S.Senators in support of this resolution. If you are a constituent of a DemocraticRepresentative or Senator that you believe may be willing to help, we would particularly like to hear from you.
To contact us, please reach out to Christine Dzujna at christine@farmtoconsumer.org.
To learn more about the Hageman and Lummis Joint Resolution, please CLICK HERE.
Sen. Rounds Bill
In addition, On May 9, 2024, Sen. Mike Rounds (R – S.D.) introduced a simple bill (S. 4282) to that would prevent APHIS from implementing the rule. The bill reads, “The Secretary of Agriculture shall not implement any rule or regulation requiring the mandatory use of electronic identification ear tags on cattle or bison.”
Action Step #1
Call both of your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to sign on to Reps Hageman and Lummis Joint Resolution and Sen, Rounds’ Bill!
Find Your U.S. SenatorsFind Your U.S. Representatives
Sample Script
Hi, my name is ___ and I live in [STATE]. I am calling to ask my [Senator/Representative] to sign onto the Hageman and Lummis Joint Resolution and Senator Rounds’ bill, S. 4282, to stop electronic RFID ear tag mandates for cattle. I am concerned about this issue because I am [a rancher/farmer who relies on traditional metal tags; I am a small farmer in an isolated area without good access to tagging equipment; I am a consumer who wants to support local farmers, not international meatpackers]. …
[You can add talking points from below, if you like – but the most important part is yourstory as a constituent!]
2. Spread the word: Share this information with your friends, family, and fellow farmers.Encourage them to also call their U.S. Senators and Representatives and voice their opposition to the mandate and their support for Rep. Hageman and Sen. Lummis Joint Resolution and Sen. Rounds’ Bill S. 4282)! Your action is vital to protect small farmers and ranchers and all those who depend on them for their food.
Action Step #2
Spread the word! Please share this Action Alert with other ranchers, farmers, friendsand family. We need as many people to contact their elected representatives aspossible.
Action Step #3
Keep informed! FTCLDF will continue to follow and report on this matter. For more information and background on RFID tags CLICK HERE.TALKING POINTS
1. The cost of RFID tags disproportionately burdens small and medium sized independent farmers and ranchers.
2. The USDA rule allows large, corporate-owned herds to be grouped and tagged as onegroup, creating a huge loophole that keeps costs low for big companies.
3. Although USDA claims the rule is about animal health, it does nothing to prevent ortreat disease. USDA hasn’t provided any data to show how it will significantly increasetraceback. The agency simply assumes electronic systems will be faster, even thoughthe experience in other countries, such as Australia, does not support this claim.
4. USDA’s press release focuses on the real driver for electronic ID, namely greasing thewheels of the export market. Exports benefit the big companies, while putting the cost onsmaller producers.
5. RFID tags on the live cattle do nothing to increase food safety.Pleasejoin us and spread the word about the importance of fair food and farming legislation. Thank you for taking action now!
In good health,
Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director, FTCLDF
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