NAIS stands for National Animal Indentification System and affects every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, goat, deer, elk, bison, or virtually any livestock animal. This could have a significant effect on our domestic food supply and our small farms.
In addition to adding an onerous cost burden to small farms and homesteads (but not the factory farms), it will affect anyone who takes their horse (or other animal) to a county fair, a horse show, goes on a trail ride etc. You will be required to notify the gov't everytime your animal leaves your registered property (which is no longer contractually your property but rather a "premises").
Quoting: Any benefit of this specious proposal goes to big agri-business by making factory farming practices, where contagious livestock diseases are most likely to occur, seem safe; moreover, it establishes costly barriers for the ever-growing local food movement. It may help the feedlot beef industry improve its image for the export market.
Other beneficiaries include manufacturers of animal identification and tracking systems who stand to garner hefty profits. The program seeks to protect an industrial agricultural system that, through the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics, confinement farming and unnatural feeding practices, exacerbates the threat of diseases within it, and has spurred the local food movement that rejects its products.
At the same time, NAIS will devastate the alternative local farming system many of us, both as farmers and consumers, have given our life energy to create. By virtue of our farming practices, small pasture-based livestock farms like ours do not suffer the same disease risks as factory farms; in fact, our grazing practices and natural farming methods actually help to thwart them. Pathogenic microbes are less likely to thrive, replicate or develop antibiotic resistant strains when animals are kept in a natural environment, outdoors, on grass. Further, when small farms are full participants in a local food system, tracking a diseased animal doesn’t require an exorbitantly expensive national database.
The burden for a program that will safeguard agribusiness interests will be disproportionately shouldered by America’s small farmers, rural families, and local food consumers. Worse yet, the burden for administering it will force many rural Americans to lose our way of life...
Many of us farmers live on the dark side of the digital divide. At Sap Bush Hollow Farm, dial-up is our only internet option, and it is difficult to maintain a connection. The frustration is compounded when the NAIS requires that we report the movement of every animal on the premises within 48 hours. Imagine the reporting nightmare we will face each May, when 100 ewes give birth to 200 lambs out on pasture, and then, six weeks later when those pastures are grazed off, the entire flock must be herded one mile up the road to a second farm that we rent. Add to that the arrival every three weeks of three hundred chicks, the three 500 pound sows who will each give birth to about 10 piglets out in the pastures twice per year (and who will attack anyone who comes near their babies more fiercely than a junkyard pit bull), then a batch of 100 baby turkeys, and the free-roaming laying hens. Additional tagging and record keeping would be required for the geese and guin ea fowl who nest somewhere behind the barn and in the hedgerows, occasionally visiting the neighbors’ farms, hatching broods of goslings and keets that run wild all summer long. Double that accounting figure each time one of those animals is sold, dies, or is trucked to a slaughterhouse. Then, factor in the penalties for non-compliance if we fail to account for a lamb quietly stolen by a coyote, or the added costs if we suffer injury when trying to come between a protective sow and her piglets...
...Yet another scar to be left by this program will be on rural America’s cultural and economic landscape. Rural families have long been able to thrive on wholesome local food while subsisting on incomes well below the national average. They do this by keeping a flock of chickens in the backyard, feeding out a pig, milking a family cow or goat, or teaming up with a neighbor to raise a beef animal. Rural youth take on backyard livestock for 4-H projects, learn more about a future in farming, earn cash for college, and make a contribution to the family’s food security. The annual fixed costs of participating in NAIS will exceed the value of the livestock for these families.
**I am posting the article below for information only. I found it to be an interesting, thought provoking angle in case any of you wish to research the program further. This is a controversial topic, so please keep any discussion within the AUG of DG. ^_^ **
Quoting: With any governmental agency, the words used in any law, regulation, rule or other declaration by the government or its agencies must be carefully scrutinized. What may seem to be nothing more than a simple word-swap may actually be a new legal definition and one that may come back to haunt you. Under NAIS the term ‘property’ is swapped for ‘premises.’
Yes, it does seem like potentially scary stuff. That's why I posted this info, so that hopefully more people will get involved in learning about it and contacting their representatives to tell them what they think of it.
I have some friends in another state whose children were told they could not participate in the 4-H livestock program unless their parents registered their "premises". They researched the NAIS as a family and not only chose not to participate in their local 4-H program, they are lobbying their reps to change this requirement.
Cajun, I don't see Kentucky listed on the Farm and Ranch Freedom Take Action site, but there is a lot of other information there that should help you find out what you need to do for your state. You could also call or email FARFA for suggestions.