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Information on the NAIS Program created by the USDA.


NAIS is coming back?

Posted by: "rescueahorse@comcast.net" rescueahorse@comcast.net   mlesty

Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:52 pm (PST)
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:58:13 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: NAIS is coming back
 AN additonal  14.3 million  they are getting for what??? NAIS??  
WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Just like in one of those scary movies where the stalker returns for a sequel, USDA's animal identification program never seems to die.
USDA plans to work with states and tribes to require animal identification for livestock that move across state lines. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer file photo)
Though touting the death of the National Animal Identification System and looking to move in a new direction, USDA officials are asking Congress to approve $14.3 million for animal traceability. That would restore USDA's animal ID funding to levels comparable to last year before Congress cut the program's budget in half.
After a series of raucous meetings last year, USDA announced earlier this month that the department was halting its efforts to enroll livestock producers and register animals for NAIS. Instead, USDA plans to work with states and tribes to require animal identification for livestock that move across state lines for interstate commerce.
That led many to believe USDA was walking away from the ID program. But a hearing Wednesday on USDA's budget proposal showed that isn't the case.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said USDA is planning to meet with state officials in March to work on devising a new system. He said USDA right now has a "skeleton proposal" because he wants to give states the latitude to craft a different type of program.
States could end up banding together to form regional identification programs, Vilsack said.
"One of the problems in the past has been the perception this has been top-down, dictating the type of situation that did not garner a lot of support from the grassroots," Vilsack said. "If this is going to work, we have to garner a lot of support from the grassroots."
Vilsack pointed out that USDA has established a good animal ID program with pork and poultry, but beef producers have not embraced the effort.
House Agriculture Appropriations Chairman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., told Vilsack she was skeptical of the new USDA plan, noting the government has already spent $147 million on animal ID "with almost nothing to show for it."
DeLauro wanted to know when all animals moving in interstate commerce would be required to be tracked and who would be responsible for data when an animal crosses state lines if USDA doesn't manage a national database.
"If you are going across state lines, who has jurisdiction to enforce it?" DeLauro asked.
Vilsack said he expects USDA will come to some agreement with state agriculture directors regarding how an ID system is going to operate and define different responsibilities.
Further, Vilsack said traceability won't necessarily be tied to a 48-hour traceback goal, which USDA has been advocating for several years.
DeLauro continued to express doubts about how a system could be developed with 50 separate states and tribes. She said several other countries and the European Union have created mandatory animal ID programs while the effort languishes in the U.S.
"I don't believe it is going to work," DeLauro said.
DeLauro said she wants to wait and see what this new system will be about before adding another $14.3 million to the costs already spent on the program.
"I'm going to make a conclusion," she said. "It can't work, it won't work."
Adding skepticism to the other side of the argument, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., said officials in some states such as Missouri won't participate.
Emerson said she thought USDA's plan for animal ID had "responded more to a PR problem and not the underlying discontent" in rural America over animal ID. Missouri cattle producers and privacy advocates have fiercely resisted animal ID, Emerson noted, and Missourians overall are "hostile to NAIS in any form whatsoever."
Missouri has a state law prohibiting state officials from participating in any mandated national animal ID program, Emerson said.
"I do hope you all will be prepared to figure out what could happen if a state chose not to participate," she said.
Chris Clayton can be reached at chris.clayton@telventdtn.com


USDA Announces New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability

WASHINGTON DC, (AHC) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will revise its proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS), in effect starting over in the planning process. This announcement follows the USDA’s national listening tour which prompted USDA to offer this new approach.

USDA appears to be scaling back its approach, but the Department is just at the beginning of the new process. Rather than attempting to identify every animal, every premise and every animal movement to achieve traceback within 48 hours of a disease outbreak, the new USDA approach appears to be aimed at designing a simpler program to achieve basic traceability with simpler identification means, including branding, to respond to a disease outbreak.

The NAIS was not fully embraced by the livestock community (the USDA spent $120 million on NAIS with only 36% of producer participation) and generated numerous concerns surrounding confidentiality, liability, cost, privacy, and religion. In response to these concerns, the new USDA program will narrow its approach. The USDA stated the new animal disease traceability program will:

Only apply to animals involved in interstate commerce;
Be administered by the States and Tribal Nations, with Federal support, to provide more flexibility;
Allow for maximum flexibility for States, Tribal Nations, and producers to find identification solutions that meet their needs;
Encourage the use of lower-cost technology;
Ensure traceability data is owned and maintained by the States and Tribal Nations; and
Be implemented through federal regulations and the full rulemaking process.
In response to the suggestions and criticisms voiced by many in the livestock community, the USDA will modify the prior animal identification program to achieve animal disease traceback.

First, the USDA will convene a forum with animal health leaders from States, Tribal Nations, and producer groups to discuss how best to achieve a coordinated approach to animal disease traceability. The USDA has scheduled an initial meeting with State and Tribal animal health officials next month (March 18th and 19th) in Kansas City, MO. Also, the USDA has directed the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health to concentrate on specific issues, such as confidentiality and liability.

USDA indicated it will share the costs of the new program with States. The Department expects to publish a new animal disease traceability section in its regulations in about one year.


Note from Brandi:  I have included some info at the beginning of this posting.

I have been trying to mention this whenever I see information that states that NAIS is over, that they are quitting.  I do not believe they are!  They are just changing tactics.  instead of pushing NAIS on the national level they are pushing it in a different way on the state levels.
My reasoning?  There is a program being pushed out here in Nebraska called Locate in 48.  (http://www.locatein48.com/)  They are running glossy ads making it sound like a wonderful thing and there are more than a few people who are buying into it.  Right now they have chapters in Nebraska, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  When you read the info, it is basically the same as NAIS and in fact it states on there that Locate in 48 is working in conjunction with NAIS. 
These ads run almost nightly out here and all of them stress the fact that it will help keep track of your horses if they are lost or stolen, that it will help with the track of disease, etc.  They show super glossy ads showing well fed horses in beautiful pastures, sleek cattle in lots, etc.  they encourage going to the website and registering your premises. 
Please feel free to share this!  Go to the website and read it carefully.  It is NAIS with a new name.

Original info:

National Animal ID Update

Posted by: "Marge" redmm97@cox.net   redmm97

Tue Feb 9, 2010 7:51 am (PST)
> USDA Scraps National ID
> By Roger Bernard, Farm Journal Policy & Washington Editor,
Dairy Today USDA
> announced that it will scrap the National Animal Identification System
> (NAIS) and instead will opt to 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."
> After listening sessions in 15 cities in the U.S., USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack
> said USDA will "revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal
> disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we
> heard."
> The framework provides the basic tenets of an improved animal disease
> traceability capability in the United States.
> USDAs efforts 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 USDAs first steps will be to convene a forum with animal health
> leaders for states and Tribal Nations to initiate a dialogue about the
> possible ways of achieving the flexible, coordinated approach to animal
> disease traceability we envision. Additionally, USDA will be revamping the
> Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health to address specific issues,
> such as confidentiality and liability.
> Although USDA has a robust system in place to protect U.S. agriculture, USDA
> said ina release, "with today?s announcement, the Department will also be
> taking additional actions to further strengthen protections against the
> entry and spread of disease. These steps will include actions to lessen the
> risk from disease introduction, initiating and updating analyses on how
> animal diseases travel into the country, improving response capabilities,
> and focusing on greater collaboration and analyses with States and industry
> on potential disease risk overall."
> Laurie A. Cadorette
> UMass Extension - Massachusetts 4-H Program
> 78 Center Street, Suite 206
> Pittsfield, MA 01201
> (413) 448-8285 or (413) 577-0754
> Email: lauriec@umext.umass.edu
> UMass Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer, United States
> Department of Agriculture cooperating. Contact your local Extension office
> for information on disability accommodations or the UMass Extension Director
> if you have concerns related to discrimination, 413-545-4800.


Fw: [NE_EquineCrossCountryTransport] House Funding Bill Excludes Ani

Posted by: "Horse Helping" horsehelping@gmail.com   eaglewhowatches

Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:08 am (PDT)
----- Original Message -----
From: Marge
To: netposse_slaughter_issues@yahoogroups.com
Cc: NewEnglandEquineRescues@yahoogroups.com ; NE_EquineCrossCountryTransport@yahoogroups.com ; ASB rescue ; NEW-ENGLAND-SADDLEBRED-ASSOCIATION@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:51 PM
Subject: [NE_EquineCrossCountryTransport] House Funding Bill Excludes Animal Identification System
House Funding Bill Excludes Animal Identification System
by: Pat Raia
June 16 2009, Article # 14369
Print Email NEW! Add to Favorites RSS ShareThis
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will receive no new funding under a 2010 spending bill proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA appropriations subcommittee. Chairwoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Ct.) announced bill details on June 11.
The NAIS is a nationwide livestock database designed to help federal and state agencies locate and track the movement of animals in the event of disease outbreaks or natural disasters.
The program uses data provided by livestock producers and property owners to assign identification numbers to individual animals and to properties where animals are born or reside. Registry participation is voluntary. But the program has failed to attract substantial support among livestock producers.
"Until the USDA provides details as to how it will implement an effective ID system, continued investments into the current NAIS are unwarranted."
–Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro
"There is overwhelming concern about NAIS registration becoming mandatory. There is also opposition to the whole concept by some (who fear) that they will have to ID their animals to move them through commerce," said Nancy Robinson, vice president of government and industry affairs for the Livestock Marketing Association.
NAIS has received $142 million in federal funding since its establishment in 2004. During that time, DeLauro said the program's administrator, the USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service has been unable to implement an effective system that provides needed animal health and market benefits
"Until the USDA provides details as to how it will implement an effective ID system, continued investments into the current NAIS are unwarranted," DeLauro said.
Future funding could be contingent upon how the UDSA uses information gathered at meetings with livestock producers in California, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Dakota, said DeLauro.
While some producers continue to oppose the current program, Robinson said the meetings could yield an animal identification concept producers can support.
"It's time to sit back and see what is workable and what is feasible," she said. "If it's not NAIS, it could be something else."


(Note from Brandi:  I removed the sample letter due to lack of space on the list!)

For those who would like to comment on NAIS.

Posted by: "neatolgart" neatolgart@hal-pc.org   lordhador

Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:15 pm (PDT)

(Amy's note: below is a sample letter. Please pass it along if you like. I'm crossposting. Fax, and not email; I found out that by law congress archives must keep faxes on file for seven years; email on the other hand just gets thrown away.)
I'm of the opinion that if NAIS becomes law, many horse rescues, like small farmers, will simply collapse from the added expense. (Livestock rescuers and livestock producers have a big issue here that we can actually agree on.... I wonder if we can use it?)
Amy B.
Navasota TX
R-CALF USA Member Alert
(This is not a News Release)
To: R-CALF USA Members and Affiliates
From: Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO
Date: March 13, 2009
Subject: Urgent Alert on NAIS; Deadline March 20, 2009
On March 11, 2009, R-CALF USA President Max Thornsberry, D.V.M., testified at a congressional subcommittee hearing on USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Dr. Thornsberry presented a powerful case against NAIS, but the witnesses were clearly stacked in favor of mandatory NAIS. Most of the members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry (Subcommittee) who attended the hearing also appeared to favor NAIS.
Our best chance to stop NAIS is in this Subcommittee, and it is right now, while the hearing record remains open. We need thousands of letters from across the country, from livestock producers, main-street businesses and consumers, to be faxed to the Subcommittee before March 20, 2009, the date the hearing record closes.
Below is a template letter you can use to fax your letter to the Subcommittee. Feel free to use all or part of this letter, or write one on your own. The important thing is we must literally have thousands of letters from all across the country faxed in before March 20.
This is URGENT if you want to put a stop to NAIS. Please circulate this alert and the template letter to any e-mail or fax list you may have in order to blanket the country.
There are about 3,000 R-CALF USA members that receive this alert. This is so important that we are asking every R-CALF USA member to deliver a copy of this alert to at least one non-member to get them to also fax a letter to the Subcommittee.
Here is the Subcommittee’s Fax Number for faxing your personal letter: 202-225-4544.
Timing is everything. Please help us get thousands of personal letters from livestock producers, main-street businesses and consumers faxed to the Subcommittee before March 20. Good Luck!


To: cen69702@centurytel.net
From: cen69702@centurytel.net
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 20:12:41 -0800
Subject: [wildhorsesandburros] NAIS

Hey folks, we have a BIG problem …

Legislature is about to go forth with the NAIS program.  We need to holler NOW – they vote goes in next week!

There’s more too … they want to regulate what you can grow and raise for your own use!  Milk goats?  Better not drink the milk yourself or give it to anyone, even family members!  Raise chickens?  Better not eat those eggs!

Normally, I don’t like passing on political stuff but this effects our horses and our very way of life!

Do you want to fill out a government form to go on a trail ride, go to a show or take your horse to the Vet?  No?  Then let your voices be heard and tell them you do NOT approve of NAIS!

Go to www.nonais.org for more information!


Burns, Oregon

Last Chance Ranch




----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 7:05 PM
Subject: NAIS~~Economic Impact on Horse Owners


Every horse owner must read this research article on NAIS with analysis to the penny.  Know what the costs and benefits are with this USDA program.  No government program to control livestock has ever been this costly and this feared by livestock producers.  Take a death grip on your saddle horn and read with courage.  For a printer friendly version use attachment.   DD

Economic Impact of NAIS for Horse Owners

Karen Nowak © February 2009

Every horse owner knows that the current economic situation in the USA is impacting the horse industry. Feed costs are higher than they‘ve ever been. In fact, any and all supplies/services used for our horses – from supplements to tack to farrier and vet costs are higher. At the same time, sales are way down. Horses are on the market for longer periods of time before they do sell and prices are rock bottom.

Those of us who breed cut way back on the number of mares bred last year. Some, like me, chose not to risk it at all and bred NO mares last year. We are feeding and caring for broodmares and stallions with no return whatsoever on our significant investment.

And now we have NAIS looming on the not too distant horizon! But wait, you say, ―I thought NAIS was now voluntary!‖ Remember the key phrase ―voluntary at the Federal level.‖ Three states so far have made all or part of NAIS mandatory. Tremendous pressure in terms of grant monies is being placed on State Departments of Agriculture by the USDA. In addition, if you read the USDA‘s most recent official document, the September 2008,

A Business Plan To Advance Animal Disease Traceability
, you will discover that while they claim NAIS is ―voluntary,‖ the handwriting is on the wall. One way or another, they will push NAIS through.

What will those costs be? Up to this point, all we have been told by the USDA is, ―There will be a cost to producers.‖ They then try to divert our attention by exclaiming that the first component of NAIS - premises registration - is free. Yes, it IS free – for now at least. But technically it really isn‘t free because the entire premises registration system has been funded by the taxpayers of this country without any of us having a vote in how that $130 million of our hard-earned dollars has been spent. The question we should be asking is ―Will it remain free, or will we have to pay to renew it every year once the funding dries up?‖ Ask and watch how quickly they divert the question!

NAIS is a massive system! According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, there are 2.2 million farms plus an unknown number of properties which house small numbers of livestock for personal use, show grounds, auction/sales barns, vet clinics, stallion stations, and public and privately-owned trail systems. Virtually any location animals from different properties ―commingle‘‖ will need to register their premises if the NAIS system is to be fully compliant and functioning as designed.

The second component of NAIS is animal identification with radio-frequency ID tags or implantable microchips containing a unique 15-digit ID number. According to the USDA, farms in the USA have an inventory of 2.3 billion livestock encompassing 33 species at any point in time. What will the cost of this electronic identification be? The USDA has thus far refused to answer honestly. In the 2006 NAIS User Guide, the USDA claimed microchips for horses would cost $8. They continued to skirt around the true cost by stating ―Currently, such cost for implanting the transponder in horses is approximately $15 to $20 per horse and is also dependent on variation in travel cost of the veterinarian to the premises.‖ NONE of this is accurate!

USDA has stated that those farms that move animals as a ‖production unit‖ will NOT need individual ID. They may use a group/lot number because the animals all move together and do not commingle with other animals. Those who will benefit by this group/lot number are the massive corporate-owned agribusinesses, not the owners of a few animals. It is no accident that these same agribusinesses, whose expenses with this system will be less, are those who helped design the NAIS program in the first place!

The third component is animal tracking. Every time a horse leaves your property and commingles‘ with horses from other premises, a movement report will have to be filed in this massive NAIS database. The purpose is to be able to trace animals within 48 hours in the event of a disease outbreak. It is important to remember that this is an ―after the fact‖ response. NAIS in NO way prevents disease! What will the charges be for entering these reports? The USDA has refused to say anything other than ―there will be costs.‖

The other cost for the tracking component is the need to purchase a scanner to read these microchips. The USDA skirts around this issue as well by saying they do not require owners to purchase one. The USDA might not but several states already require you to carry a scanner in the trailer if your horse is microchipped. For those with a single horse, you may be able to get away with not buying a scanner, but if you own several horses, the risk of a ―transcription error‖ with those 15-digit ID numbers is so great that you have to ask yourself if it is worth the risk of the penalty fee. There are ‗cheap‘ $300 scanners out there, but they do NOT have a computer interface so you are back to the considerable risk of transcription errors.

In July of 2007, after much public outcry, the USDA funded a cost-benefit analysis by Dhuyvetter and Blasi at Kansas State University. That study was completed in July of 2008. The USDA has yet to release the findings of this study. Several Freedom of Information Act formal requests have been made to obtain the results of this study. Thus far all requests have been denied. So much for ―transparency in government‖!


In an effort to determine what the costs would be for horse owners, I used the cost estimate analysis form for cattle, designed by Kansas State University‘s Agricultural Economist Kevin C. Dhuyvetter, Ph.D. and Beef Specialist Dale Blasi, Ph.D., and changed the tags and scanner to those microchips and the scanner designed for horses.

RFID (Radio Frequency ID/microchips) Components Horses

Useful Life Salvage *Annual Percent **Yearly
Interest 7.5% Initial cost Yrs Value, $ Cost to RFID RFID Cost
eID Transponder - Vet Fees
microchip PER HORSE $30 30 0 100%
implantation PER HORSE $25 0 100%
sedation PER HORSE $20 0 100%
farm call $55 0 100%
Electronic Reader
Scanner with computer interface $1,025 3 0 $367 100% $367
spare battery $45 3 0 $16 100% $16
Data Accumulator
Laptop Computer $1,000 3 $200 $287 60% $172
spare battery $150 3 0 $54 100% $54
external backup device $100 3 0 $35 100% $35
Software/web based analysis & storage
Computer Software $700 5 0 $173 100% $173
anti-viral software $45 1 0 $29 60% $29
Internet Access $480 1 0 $498 25% $125
Subscriptions/Upgrade Fees $100 1 0 $104 100% $104
Labor $500 0 $519 100% $519
Total Annual Cost $4,275 $1,594
* includes annual interest + divided over number of useful years ** based on % to RFID

Contact your veterinarian for the cost of microchipping, as the above information is an average. It has been included for people to use as a guideline only. Simply multiply those costs by the number of horses you own/lease and add it to the Yearly RFID Cost column to estimate your first year expenses under NAIS. If you board your horse, expect your board to rise to help cover the considerable cost not only in equipment but in labor with all the scanning that will need to be done every time you take your horse to a show, etc.

Spare batteries and anti-viral software were not included in the cost estimate analysis by Dhuyvetter and Blasi. They are included here because they ARE necessities! There is no movement cost listed above, just as there was not on the original by Dhuyvetter and Blasi. An assumption has been made that the ‗computer software‘ is NAIS compliant software and the ‗subscription/upgrade fees‘ allow the owner to upload the data themselves. That would be far more cost-effective for everyone (including the USDA) in the long run.

What will the costs be for show organizations? They will need

at least one scanner and spare battery, a laptop computer with spare battery and external back-up device (prevent risk of lost data!), internet access and all the software, subscriptions listed above plus the labor to perform all these tasks.

Scanning horses at shows will be a logistical nightmare because of the many variables from one venue to the next, the type and size of classes, etc. It would be impossible to scan all horses in the trailer as they enter the show grounds unless you want a major traffic jam! There is also the not unlikely possibility that the person scanning could be injured if the horse spooked in the confined space of a horse trailer. Last is the risk of ‗missing‘ some scans due to late arrivals that will not be showing until the end of the day. It would also be impossible to scan each horse as it enters the show ring because of the delay it would cause in each class as well as the considerable risk of ‗duplicate entries‘ since most show in more than one class. The most logical solution to these logistic difficulties is to set up scanning stations on the showgrounds. Horses could be scanned and their entry numbers stamped with a symbol easily recognized by staff at the in-gate to each show ring.

How much time will this take? A very conservative estimate is 3 minutes per horse. We cannot line them up nose to tail like they do cattle – a fact that I do not think the USDA has considered. There will have to be enough space between horses to prevent humans and horses from being kicked. That means additional time spent waiting for the next horse to move up in line. While the microchip should be placed in the same general location, time will occasionally be lost searching for a microchip that is not quite in the perfect location. Last will be the horses that spook at the scanner. We all know some will, and that will cost more time!

Just how much time will scanning take at an average horse show? Estimate that one person can scan 20 horses per hour IF all goes well. It is not unusual for there to be 200 horses at a popular local or regional show and that is where we must focus to determine the true cost to us as horse owners. If only one person scanned, it would take

10 hours just to scan all these horses into the NAIS database! Five scanning stations would be far more workable as that would take a total of 2 hours to scan in every horse. But wait – that means 5 scanners and 5 spare batteries! The cost to the show organizer just jumped from $1070 to $5350! Divide that over the 3 year life of the scanner and it comes to $1783 per year just for scanners. In addition, they will need 4 additional people just to scan and we all know how difficult it is to recruit enough help at shows! Just as with boarding, these costs will have to passed on to those of us who show. The cost per horse to cover this expense (broken down over the 3 year lifespan of the equipment) would be an additional $14 in entry fees. If they try to recoup their costs that first year, the additional fee would be $42. That‘s not too bad you are probably saying to yourself. Very true if you are the person showing but what about the show organizer who is already struggling to meet expenses in this economic climate? They have to pay out an additional $8,090 for that first year for all this equipment plus labor for the additional staff. Will they be able to survive? My belief is we will see more shows cancelled,just as the recent Red Hills Horse Trials in Florida was forced to cancel because there weren‘t enough entries to meet expenses. Imagine if they have this expense on top of it!

What impact will NAIS have on the much smaller shows? One way to attract new people and children into showing, and generate income in training and/or sale of horses, is to offer small shows at low prices to allow them to ―get their feet wet.‖ These shows typically have 20 or so horses with entry fees of $4 to $7 per class. Twenty horses is just enough that you dare not have a ―cheap‖ scanner (no computer interface) because of that ever present risk of ‗transcription errors‘ when copying down numbers manually. These show organizers will be faced with the same costs as the bigger shows with the exception that they will only require one scanner and one spare battery. Their initial cost outlay to comply with NAIS will be $3,645. Will their budget allow it? Probably not but IF it did, the cost per horse to cover this expense (broken down over the 3 year lifespan of the equipment) would be an additional $59 in entry fees. If they try to recoup their costs that first year, the additional fee would be $177! There is no conceivable way these smaller shows could continue to operate! Who loses in the end? The entire horse industry loses because these are tomorrow‘s stars, as well as potential clients for the many services the horse industry offers. The lost exhibitors are our future breeders and/or trainers!

What penalties might we incur under NAIS? The USDA avoids this question but both the USDA and Congress state that US Codes Title 7 Agriculture, Chapter 109, ( the Animal Health Protection Act) authorizes NAIS. Below is the exact wording for penalties under this chapter:

§ 8313. Penalties

(a) Criminal penalties (1) Offenses (A) In general A person that knowingly violates this chapter, or knowingly forges, counterfeits, or, without authority from the Secretary, uses, alters, defaces, or destroys any certificate, permit, or other document provided for in this chapter shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. (B) Distribution or sale A person that knowingly imports, enters, exports, or moves any animal or article, for distribution or sale, in violation of this chapter, shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. (2) Multiple violations On the second and any subsequent conviction of a person of a violation of this chapter under paragraph (1), the person shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.


Civil penalties (1) In general Except as provided in section 8309 (d) (Veterinary Accreditation Program) of this title, any person that violates this chapter, or that forges, counterfeits, or, without authority from the Secretary, uses, alters, defaces, or destroys any certificate, permit, or other document provided under this chapter may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record, be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary that does not exceed the greater of— (A) (i) $50,000 in the case of any individual, except that the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 in the case of an initial violation of this chapter by an individual moving regulated articles not for monetary gain; (ii) $250,000 in the case of any other person for each violation; and (iii) $500,000 for all violations adjudicated in a single proceeding; or (B) twice the gross gain or gross loss for any violation or forgery, counterfeiting, or unauthorized use, alteration, defacing or destruction of a certificate, permit, or other document provided under this chapter that results in the person‘s deriving pecuniary gain or causing pecuniary loss to another person.

We, as horse owners, must stand up and say

NO to NAIS! For more information on how to get involved, please go to http://farmandranchfreedom.org, http://libertyark.net, http://naisinfocentral.net, http://nonais.org and http://naisstinks.com. There is an excellent short video on the LibertyArk website:

http://libertyark.net/NAIS-new/NAIS%20Clip/ and another at: http://sovereignty.net/library/NAIS-web.htm The latter is a bit outdated but still well worth watching.

To download the USDA‘s most recent document: A Business Plan To Advance Animal Disease Traceability, go to: http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/naislibrary/documents/plans_reports/TraceabilityBusinessPlan%20Ver%201.0%20Sept%202008.pdf


Fw: NAIS Alert - Comments Urgently Needed!

Posted by: "southerndreams" southern@nefcom.net   msbeaureguarde

Tue Feb 3, 2009 5:19 am (PST)

I am forwarding this to everyone popping up on my addys when I go thru the
alphabet--some of you, I have forgotten and you have forgotten me, but
please read and respond to the call for public comment. As horse people, we
need to help protect the small farmer as horse owners will be next. Thank
you for time,
Pat in Fl
-------Original Message-------
From: Liberty Ark Coalition
Date: 02/02/09 20:21:36
To: southern@nefcom.net
Subject: NAIS Alert - Comments Urgently Needed!
February 2, 2009
Animal owners, consumers and taxpayers:
Protect your right to farm and the food supply!
The USDA has proposed a rule to mandate premises registration under the
National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for existing disease control
programs. The draft rule covers programs for cattle, sheep, goats, and swine
but it sets the stage for the entire NAIS program to be mandated for
It is critical that the USDA and Congress hear from the hundreds of
thousands of people who will be adversely affected by the NAIS program. This
includes anyone who owns even one livestock animal (including a single
chicken or a horse), as well as consumers who care about local and
sustainable foods, taxpayers who object to wasteful government programs, and
advocates for a safer food system.
STEP 1: Submit comments to USDA online or by mail. The comments must be
received by USDA by March 16, 2009.
You can submit comments online by clicking here. Click on the yellow balloon
under “add comments.â€
Or mail two copies of your comments to USDA.
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096
Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
Clearly state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096.
(Sample comments are at the end of this alert.)
STEP 2: Send a copy of your comments to your Congressman and Senators.
You can find who represents you, and their contact information by clicking
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working for over five
years to force a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) onto American
animal owners. NAIS is designed to identify and track each and every
individual livestock and poultry animal owned by family farmers, hobby
farmers, homesteaders, and pet owners across the country.
USDA claims that NAIS is a disease tracking program, but has refused to
provide any support for its claims. In reality, NAIS will:
Usurp states’ existing, well-functioning disease response and brand
inspection programs;
Impose high costs and government surveillance on every farmer and animal
owner for no significant benefits.
NAIS does nothing to improve food safety for consumers or prevent animal
diseases. This program is a one-size-fits-all program developed by and for
big Agribusiness. NAIS will increase consolidation of our food supply in the
hands of a few large companies and put the brakes on the growing movement
toward regional food systems.
Despite promises to the contrary, the USDA’s new proposed rule would make
portions of the NAIS mandatory for thousands of people in every state. This
draft rule would mandate the first step – premises registration – for
anyone who is involved in a federal disease control program. That includes
tuberculosis, brucellosis, scrapie, Johne’s and more. The NAIS Premises
Identification Number (PIN) will become the only form of premises
identification acceptable for official USDA purposes, with no opt-out
The proposed rule would also limit official Animal Identification Numbers to
the NAIS-compliant 840-numbering system, laying the groundwork for future
regulations that would limit people’s options on the types of tags they
could use.
The proposed rule is not final yet. You can help stop it by visiting the
Federal Registry and making a comment, and click on the yellow balloon under
“add comments.†Be sure to send a copy of your comments to your elected
officials, letting them know how you feel about NAIS.
The grassroots movement has already successfully stalled USDA's plans for
NAIS, which originally called for the entire program - premises registration
animal identification, and tracking - to be mandatory by January 2009. The
proposed rule is an opportunity to get thousands of objections in the formal
record, and have an even greater impact. It is imperative that people speak
up to protect our right to farm and our food supply!
Sample Comments
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096
Regulatory Analysis and Development PPD, APHIS
Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
Mail two copies to the address above, or submit comments online by clicking
Date: __________
Re: Docket No. APHIS–2007–0096
I urge the USDA to withdraw its proposed rule to implement portions of the
National Animal Identification System (NAIS), Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096.
I am a __________________________________________________________
(State who you are - farmer, consumer, animal owner - and why this issue
matters to you.)
The proposed rule mandates the NAIS Premises Identification Number (PIN) as
the sole means of identifying properties for official USDA purposes. The
proposed rule also mandates the use of the NAIS numbering system (i.e. the
“840 numbering system†) for eartags using official animal identification
numbers. Tags using other numbering systems would be required to be linked
to a NAIS PIN.
The draft rule is seriously flawed for multiple reasons:
Does not substantiate the alleged benefits to animal health. USDA makes
general claims about the benefits of identifying locations where animals are
kept, but the agency does not address the capacity of existing programs to
meet this purpose, nor how the proposed rule actually improves on the
current ability to identify locations.
Ignores the costs and burdens. The proposed rule would substantially
increase costs, and add intrusive governmental burdens, to the industry and
the taxpayer. The costs include the development and maintenance of a massive
database; the purchase of 840-numbered tags by animal owners; state agencies
having to implement changes to existing programs; and increased federal
government intrusion into the lives and daily activities of farmers and
other animal owners.
Violation of individuals’ religious beliefs. Amish, Mennonite, and some
other individuals have religious objections to the universal numbering
system under NAIS.
Creates disincentives for people to seek veterinary care for their animals
and participate in existing disease control programs. The proposed rule
lists four animal disease programs - tuberculosis, brucellosis, scrapie, and
Johne’s - and will impact others. These programs include provisions for
veterinary care through vaccinations and testing. Animal owners who object
to NAIS, may avoid participating in these programs, thereby increasing
health risks to the public and farm operations.
Adds to the confusion. This rule is the latest in a series of ambiguous and
often contradictory documents that the USDA has issued on NAIS. This has
created enormous confusion over the intent of the USDA and problems for both
animal owners and state agencies.
The proposed rule is a significant step towards implementing the entire NAIS
program. Thus, the agency should address the fundamental question of whether
it should be implementing NAIS at all. In addition to the problems with the
draft rule listed above, there are many additional objectionsto the entire
NAIS propgram:
No significant benefits: USDA’s assertions that NAIS will provide benefits
for animal health are not supported, and actually contradict basic
scientific principles.
High costs for animal owners and taxpayers: These costs include: (1) the
development, maintenance, and update of massive databases; (2) the costs of
tags, most of which will contain microchips; (3) the labor burdens for
tagging every animal; (4) the paperwork burdens of reporting routine
movements; and (5) the costs of enforcement on millions of individuals.
Impracticality: The databases to register the properties, identify each
animal, and record billions of “events†will dwarf any system currently
in existence.
Waste of money: The USDA has already spent over $130 million on NAIS
implementation, but has yet to develop a workable plan for the program.
Diverts resources from more critical needs such as disease testing, disease
prevention through vaccination and improved animal husbandry practices, and
disease detection in currently uninspected livestock imports.
Damage to food safety efforts: NAIS will not prevent foodborne illnesses,
such as e. coli or salmonella contamination, because the tracking ends at
the time of slaughter. Food safety is better served by focusing on programs
such as increased testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or
“Mad Cow†), improved oversight of slaughterhouses and food processing
facilities, and increased inspections of imported food. Programs such as
NAIS that burden small, sustainable farmers will hurt efforts to develop
safer, decentralized local food systems.
Discourages involvement in farming or animal husbandry: Because of the costs
and government intrusion, some people will choose not to stay in farming or
go into farming. This will result in less competition, greater reliance in
foreign imports, and poor quality at higher prices.
I urge the USDA to withdraw the proposed rule to implement portions of the
National Animal Identification System, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096.
Name: ___________________________
Address: __________________________
City, State Zip: __________________________
For more information, visit and support LibertyArk.net


USDA Proposed Rule

On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, the USDA published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would make two elements of NAIS -- NAIS Premises ID and NAIS individual animal ID -- effectively mandatory in several USDA animal disease programs.  A copy of the proposed rule is attached.

This rule, if it goes into effect, would be an enormous step toward creating a fully mandatory NAIS for all U.S. livestock. 

The proposed rule directly affects cattle, bison, sheep, goats, and swine.  However, it will also bring a full NAIS closer for all species.  Therefore, all owners of horses, poultry, and other species should also submit comments and urge their livestock/farming organizations to submit comments.

Within a few days, I will be sending out a sample letter for people to consider as a basis for comments.  The comment period is scheduled to close on March 16, 2009.  Commenting on this proposed rule is extremely important.  Not only all animal owners, but also consumers of local/organic/grassfed foods, and everyone concerned with preserving a place for family farms in a world increasingly dominated by Industrial Agriculture, is urged to comment. 
In regard to advancing NAIS, the four most important aspects of the USDA/APHIS Jan. 13, 2009 rule are:
1.  As of the effective date of the final rule, the NAIS Premises ID Number (PIN) would be the only form of PIN allowed for certain official uses.   (Note on timing -- the comment period is open until March 16, 2009.  Then USDA reviews the comments and at some point can issue a final rule.  That date of issuance would be the effective date for the mandatory assignments of the NAIS Premises IDs.  However, a large number of unfavorable comments might result in the postponement, or even retraction or cancellation, of the rule.)
2.  Although the system announced in this proposed rule supposedly permits the continued use of the National Uniform Eartagging System (traditionally, metal tags) and a "premises-based numbering system," in fact, these systems would be used in the same way as NAIS Animal Identification Numbers.  The older forms of eartags and individual IDs would all be connected into the NAIS Premises ID database through the Animal Identification Number Management System ("AINMS," the USDA system that keeps track of what individual animal identification number is assigned to what farm or ranch).  In other words, under the system of this proposed rule, anytime a farmer/rancher has metal tags applied to livestock (such as for TB or brucellosis testing), the farm/ranch will be placed into the NAIS Premises ID system and the numbers on the tags will be tied to the farm/ranch through the USDA's AINMS system.
3.  Some requirements are being added for official eartags and these new requirements might make it very difficult or even impossible to obtain metal tags instead of the NAIS tags.  The additional requirements include a "U.S. shield" printed on each tag, and tags must be "tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate in the animal."  The APHIS Administrator must approve all tags.  The NAIS tags now available already meet these standards.  It is not clear that metal tags have ever been judged by these standards, so it is possible that the APHIS Administrator could fail to approve metal and other non-NAIS tags.  Also, tag manufacturers will have a clear self-interest in abandoning production of cheap metal tags in favor of expensive NAIS RFID tags, so non-NAIS forms of tags may quickly become extinct.
4.  The addition of a definition of the AINMS to the animal-disease program rules in the Code of Federal Regulations is huge.  Previously the AINMS has only been defined in the non-rule NAIS informational documents (Draft Strategic Plan, User Guide, Business Plan, etc.) so it did not have any defined legal status.  Now this proposed rule adds a definition of the AINMS and also provides that eventually the AINMS will be used to tie all types of "official" tags -- not just the NAIS 15-digit tags -- to a NAIS registered premises.  The proposed rule accomplishes essentially a mandatory system for the first 2 elements of NAIS -- NAIS premises ID and NAIS individual animal ID.  The only difference from the original NAIS plan is that now the metal tags and other traditional forms of individual ID have become additional forms of numbering/tagging that are used as part of NAIS.
Note that even if your state has passed a law to keep NAIS "voluntary," that will not necessarily save you from this rule.  The Federal Register notice specifically states:  "All State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted." (p. 1638.)  However, if you are working to pass a state law limiting NAIS in the present legislative session, keep working -- such a law could still be very important.  It shows the opposition of animal owners and consumers to NAIS, which may help get the rule postponed or rescinded.  In addition, the question of whether this rule would pre-empt contrary state laws in all circumstances may someday be open to legal challenge.

But for now, your best defense against NAIS is to make sure you comment on the proposed rule.  Watch for my sample letter to be distributed in the next few days.

Mary Zanoni
P.O. Box 501
Canton, New York  13617

First They Came for the Cows - An Activist's Story
My novel, pre-orders being taken now.
click through to my blog for more information and a link to a preview


Fwd: USDA Cancels NAIS

Posted by: "May S." mayleen@gmail.com   funchy_crunchy

Fri Jan 2, 2009 1:22 pm (PST)

NAIS is the mandatory animal registration program through the federal
government. Horse owners may eventually be required to register their farm,
their horses, and everywhere their horses go ... if the NAIS as proposed
goes through.
So this is update is good news for horse people:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
*Group Wins Major Animal ID Dispute;
USDA Cancels Mandatory Premises Registration Directive *
*December 29, 2008 Billings, Mont. – *Just over a month after R-CALF USA
sent a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) demanding
that the agency retract Memorandum No. 575.19 issued on Sept. 22, 2008,
APHIS-VS officially canceled that particular memo on Dec. 22, 2008.
Memorandum 575.19 *mandated* premises registration under the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS) for producers engaged in interstate commerce
and who participate in any one of the dozen or more federally regulated
disease programs.
R-CALF USA told the agency in its Nov. 10, 2008, letter that the memo
"constitutes an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented
without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the
Administrative Procedure Act," and must be retracted.
"We caught USDA in the unlawful act of trying to convert what was promised
to be a completely voluntary animal identification system into a mandatory
NAIS, and the agency backed down," said R-CALF USA President/Region VI
Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the
group's animal health committee. "This goes to show how an organized group
of cattle producers can effectively defend their rights if they stand and
fight together."
The cancellation memorandum issued by APHIS-VS on Dec. 22, 2008, states, "VS
Memorandum No. 575.19 dated September 22, 2008, is hereby canceled."
"This action by USDA confirms what we've been saying all along – that USDA
does *not* have the authority to implement NAIS and it is using underhanded
and unlawful methods to coerce independent cattle producers into giving up
their rights to their property," said Kenny Fox, who chairs the group's
animal identification committee.
"R-CALF USA encourages producers to not register their premises under the
NAIS and to immediately request that their names and property be removed
from the NAIS database if they had previously registered under USDA's
coercive actions," Fox urged.
The new APHIS-VS memo further states that APHIS-VS "has an established
procedure for producers who request their premises record be removed from
the NAIS premises databases."
R-CALF USA advocates that USDA should use and improve existing disease
traceback methods including state-sanctioned brand programs that do not
require individual producers to register their property under a national
premises registration program in order to improve USDA's disease traceback
"There is no need to violate producers' private property rights to
accomplish this objective, and R-CALF will continue to work with Congress
and USDA to improve our existing systems, but we will *not *tolerate the
type of government intrusion on our industry that USDA envisioned with
NAIS," Fox concluded.
*Note: To view/download R-CALF USA's letter or the new APHIS-VS memorandum,
please visit the "Animal Identification" link at www.r-calfusa.com or
contact R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson to request copies.
*# # #*
*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 marketing
issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf
operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA has
dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are
associate members. R-CALF USA directors and committee chairs are extremely
active unpaid volunteers. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or,
call 406-252-2516. *


Note from Brandi:  This is about NAIS and talks about the September 2008 NAIS business plan.  It is very interesting reading!

Original Info:

If you own a horse you are going to want to go into the link below and check it out.  Pass this to all your friends with horses.  


Ted & Pam Olson 

Triple L and Arabians


Photo Album is   www.flickr.com/photos/lllarabians/

Standing at Stud KA DeJavu


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