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Controversial microchips will ID all livestock

by 5m Editor
23 January 2006, at 12:00am

US - High technology may soon be used to track individual livestock and pets, but the “mandatory” aspect of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) animal identification system may be costly in more ways than one. Agriculture knows there is a problem. With worldwide markets, the ability to trace and back-track the life of an animal can quickly stop the spread of disease. But how can it be done in a cost-effective manner that does not intrude on Constitutional rights of animal owners? Recently complaints have sprung up regarding a USDA-driven National Animal Identification System dubbed NAIS. Property rights advocates are screaming the loudest, but California agriculture organizations are also quietly questioning the Draft Strategic Plan that gives July 2006 as the target date for the USDA to issue a proposed rule for requirements. There are two “mandatory” aspects of the NAIS plan. As a result, all animals will be tracked by a government agency. First will be the mandatory registration of all premises where livestock are housed. This includes owners of even one cow, horse, pig, goat, lamb, chicken, goose, duck or rabbit. And under the current threat of bird flu epidemic, “premises” could be expanded to include anyone with a parakeet or other bird pets. Fish are also farmed and would need to be under the NAIS. <i>Source: Sierra Times</i>

5m Editor