Interesting article here, about the opposition to the National Animial Indentification System (NAIS), complete with government rebuttal.
My husband has a shirt with the slogan, "We're from the government and we're here to help." Below is a British soldier bayoneting a Minute Man. We bought it as a chuckle, since we reenact British and have an odd sense of humor. However, it has never been more apropos than today, when I read the above article in the USA Today.
I'll pick the article apart, but first the ending line. "As for arguments that the program is unconstitutional and a violation of privacy, 'I can't counter that,' Hoenig says. But he tells the farmers, 'In an emergency, you're going to be coming to people like me for help. So give us the tools we need to do our job.'"
Did you hear that? He admits that the program is unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy. But, we shouldn't care because, to paraphrase, he's from the government and he's here to help. Thanks for that bayonet, I needed it.
- "Once potentially affected animals are found and identified, state veterinarians would be able to inoculate them, quarantine them or do whatever would be necessary to stop the spread."
Whatever necessary includes killing uninfected animals, with no compensation to the owners. It has happened before, and there is nothing stopping it happening again.
- "Clifford says the USDA this fall will begin an education campaign to try to persuade farmers to go along with premises registration. He says a lot of the opposition to the program is based on �misinformation� on the Internet, including that every chicken would need an ID under its skin and that every time someone took their horse out for a trail ride, they'd have to call the state. Neither is true, he says."
Sure, it's not true *now*, but trail rides were going to be included in the plan, until horse owners freaked out about it. So, they dropped that part in hopes to placate them. And, it is technically true that every chicken does not have to be tagged. However, the only way to avoid tagging each and every animal is to have "lots" of animals that are always together. They have to be born the same day, brooded for the same amount of time, kept in the same pasture at all times, sent in to eat and sleep at the same time, taken to the vet together, etc. If they are ever separated they immediately have to be tagged and registered seperately. For the small producer, they effectively will have to tag each individual animal.