National Animal Identification System

Falls Mills, VA

Has anyone heard of the push by the government to force all animal growers to go to a National Animal Identification System? As I read this, it will affect all keepers of livestock....even if it is just one chicken. All people will be forced to register their livestock with the government....all cattle, horses, chickens, goats, etc. If they are sold, slaughtered, die, disappear, or leave the farm it must be reported to the government within 24 hours. I could understand the big producers having to do this.....and all cattle producers (because of the Mad Cow disease)........but even hobby farms?.......this is just toooooooooo much government in my life! Grrrrrrrr........where is Henry David Thoreau when you need him?

Does anyone here have any info on this rule being watered down so it will leave the hobby farmers alone? Has the time period for public comment closed?


This message was edited Mar 17, 2006 7:21 PM

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

"Has the time period for public comment closed?"
well, it sorta did last year, but they are having MORE discussion, and when and where depends on your state.

i have a link for that somewhere, i will dmail it to you. some think this subject is a little too political for open discussion on DG, so i want to respect that.


Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

well, i haven't found tht link, but just got this new info today regarding the NAIS and Tennessee:
"For anyone in TN interested in NAIS, SB3297 Introduced by Frank Niceley and matching HB3258 sponsored by Senator Tim Burchett have been introduced to prevent the USDA's National Animal Identification System from being implemented by TN. If you live there, please take a moment to look up the bill and voice your opinions about it and NAIS to your state representatives. For anyone who hasn't heard, NAIS is a USDA plan to track all livestock in the US, no matter how small the producer. Many State Agriculture Depts are drafting laws and regulations to make this a reality. Anyone with livestock would be affected by this plan as it currently stands.

The saliant portion of the TN HB3297 reads:

"WHEREAS, the NAIS requirements have already proven to be unduly burdensome on the farmers of this state, and will become even more problematic for our farmers upon the final implantation of the system; now, therefore "...

"At no time shall department of agriculture funds or any other state funds be appropriated to effectuate the implementation of the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS). "

The entire text of the bills are both available on the web as well as contact information for the sponsors."
where, i am not sure. will let you know. but it seems this system has been started long enough for many to believe that it just isn't feasible... i hope everyone just reads the info, i am not wanting to discuss it, just passing along the information


Falls Mills, VA

thanks for the update Tamara

Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)

Right now they are just making the large poultry houses register under an Umbrella flock #
they have NO CLUE how to handle the backyard breeders and show breeder flocks and are still looking for input from the public and suggestions
I don't think they'd like my suggestion

Falls Mills, VA

They probably won't like mine either, but I will refrain from posting it here.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

oh, i would tell them where to put their ideas! LOL

[Many states are now opposing it. Please, if you care to, don't hesitate to contact you congress men!]

From what i read, they want ALL owners to register their flock. Piec of paper when they hatch, piece of paper when they die, piece of paper when they acciendtally leave the property, piece of paper when they return, peice of paper when they are sold or eaten. Even a piece of paper if you transport them to the vet. Paper, paper, paper work, EGAD! 'What will all this paperwork do to the forests??? Joking! ;-)

OK, i will shut up again

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

thois just in
"The are informational meetings in NH and MA about NAIS if anyone is interested.

MA NAIS Meeting
Thursday, March 30th, 2006 from 6:30-8:30 at the Palmer Community Library in the Community Room at 1455 North Main Street Ben Grosscup will hold a Hearing to Learn About NAIS. If you raise poultry or buy from a farmer who does, you might want to come to this meeting to ask questions and find out exactly what the USDA NAIS plan and MDAR are.

NH #1:
Date: March 27th, 2006
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm
Location: Ossippee Central School Cafeteria, Main Street Center Ossippee, NH
Contact: To register or for more information call Carroll County Cooperative Extension for information.

NH #2:
Date: March 30th, 2006
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM or 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: UNHCE, Grafton County Office, North Haverhill, NH
Contact: Mike Lunak, Dairy Specialist, at Grafton County Of Unh Cooperative Extension.

If you go, report back what you learn. "

"Groups like 4-H, Dairy supply stores and Feed Stores would be a good place to check.

I have heard some positive comments recently that the USDA is backing off from their original Plan and not including backyard farmers and small producers in this regulation. Instead, aiming it at commercial producers who sell to the "anonymous" public market (where the public never sees the producer). It's definitely good news, but Vermont's Ag Dept has not yet gotten the message and they are still saying they want to track every cow, pig and chicken under mandatory premises registration and later individual animal ID. "Right down to the Backyard Level" has been their slogan.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Yep, and if they pass it, I'm sure there will be a TAX, that they will figure out for us to pay for each animal owned. They'll figure out a way for US to pay for all that extra "paper-work" and man hours it takes to do this non-sense stuff. It all comes back to the money eventually. Arrrrgh. Probably have to buy some kind of "bird stamp" or "fishing license" type thing to have chickens. !!!!!!!!! In addition to registering them.
We need to say NO to this.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

oh, it states in their proposal that the costs of the system will be paid by the livestock owners, NOT the gov't!!!

please call your extension office Monday and see when the mneetings are in OK. it seems people are taking a stand in some states, and it is rolling across the country like a huge wave. i just hope ENOUGH people speak up, and enough Public Representatives [nice word for politicians, eh?] listen and DO soemthing!


Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

an update on the progrees of the bill in tennessee:

"Below is a reprint about the TN bill from a NoNais site I read. NAIS is the USDA's National Animal Identification Plan which as currenlty written wants to require reporting of all movements of livestock, including people with backyard flocks. Hope people in TN are interested. Please look up your legislators and make your opinions known on the subject. Residents of other states should check with their legislative calendars and Ag depts to see what is going on at the state level.

TN Hearing 4/4
Hearing on House Bill 3297 to stop National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in Tennessee at 9 am on April 4th, 2006 in Room 29 of the Legislative Plaza.

Legislators to contact:
STRATTON BONE JR. (Vice Chairman)
FRANK S. NICELEY (Introduced defunding bill to house, outspoken opponent of NAIS)

just keeping you apprised,

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

You're right Virginian. It starts small, and many think, well, this little thing is no big deal, but it is. It mushrooms and it encroaches on a lot more than it should in the end.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

more updates on meetings:

"VT House Ag Committee on NAIS

From 2:30 pm to 4 pm on Tuesday, April 4th at the State House in Montpelier, Vermont the House Agriculture Committee will be meeting about NAIS.

I know the public is welcome to attend, but I am not sure if they will be allowing public testimony at this meeting or not.

If you live in Vermont, that might be a good time to express any opinions you have about NAIS. I couldn't be at the Senate Ag committee meeting two weeks ago, but it is my understanding that Steve Kerr, the Ag Dept Commissioner was not well resceived at that meeting when he pressed for Mandatory Premises ID.
There are addresses for Ag Comittee members on the Vermont Legislative Directory website."

as of today, "They have changed their schedule. Meeting moved to 9 am and no agenda given.

[UPDATE: Turns out there are two separate meetings, one by the Senate Ag Committee at 9 am and one by the House Ag Committee at 2:30 pm.]"

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

"TN House Ag Committee Meets On April 5th, 2006 at 9 am, in room 29 of the Legislative Plaza the Tennessee House Ag Committee will hear the proposed bills for the Animal Identification System in Tennessee.

If your in TN and interested in NAIS, you might want to check it out."

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

i don't know if anyone is reading these posts, but somehow i overlooked this info last week: [maybe i was too busy with baby chicks LOL]

from a fellow poultry enthusiast in Oklahoma: dated 3/27/2006

"just got off the phone with my OK rep about the status of NAIS and was informed that OK is not going to do anything and has basically rejected the plan back to washington. he also claimed that texas has droped their efforts also. my rep is on the ag committee in OK and is personally involved with the program so i feel confident that he is providing good info. he indicated that there is a significant uproar from many states about the program but is not sure where it may end up going and can not gaurantee that it will not be forced upon us. he agreed that the small producer is being penalized and is supportive of us. i ask to be kept informed and to be personally involved with the OK process if it comes up agin. he indicated this is an ofshoot of the homeland security act.

maybe they will see the error of their ways and change it. it is scarry considering the opening comment from the chairman of the USDA indicated the program would allow them to use "survalence" to show the world that we are capable of tracking every animal."

i will call my county agent to confirm this, though he is a VERY reliable source. anyone else please call your county extension office or local agriculture commission to see what's up in your state...


Falls Mills, VA

Thanks Tamara. So this is an 'offshoot of the homeland security act'? What is going on here? Is every bill they want to push through tied to homeland security? so no one will dare question it because it might affect our homeland security? This is just going too far. I wonder just how much Americans are willing to put up with.

I am no fan of the Soviet Union, but I think it was Lenin that said a little revolution every now and then is a good thing....or was that Martha Stewart?.......LOL
OK, I'll shut up now.

thanks for the update Tamara

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

here's a good one for you: saw it on a t-shirt at Braum's tonight. it could apply to either the gov't, or ignorant people:

"Never underestimate the power of STUPID PEOPLE in large groups"


Cicero, NY(Zone 5a)


are you refering to us...LOL

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

rotflmbo, nope the folks in charge of NAIS, actually!!! i think they fit into both categories... if you are reading this thread, you can't claim ignorance for long LOL

speaking of which, i have info to post for Indiana, Missouri [i think that is MO isn't it?], Texas, and Vermont:

"IN NAIS Meeting 4/11
There will be a meeting on Tuesday, April 11th at 6 pm at the fairgrounds buildings behind the . in Connersville, IN. It's a good chance to talk to government officials and let them know how you feel about the subject.

NAIS is the USDA's National Animal Identification System, a three year plan to identify every location where livestock is kept, assign ID numbers and tag all individual Animals and provide tracking and reporting for whenever animals loose a tag, leave those premises, are bought, sold, are born or die. More information about NAIS is available on the web, if you have any livestock, please check it out. The USDA plans to make this plan mandatory for all livestock owners incrementaly starting in 2007 and fully implemented in 2009.

If you have friends in Indiana, let them know about the meeting."

"VT Public Hearing 4/11
There will be a public hearing regarding Premise ID Tuesday, April 11, 2006 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Capital Building in Montpelier, Vermont. This is your chance to say your piece to our legislators and the Vermont Department of Agriculture.

I got a this message from my local rep to the VT Senate."

'Below is a quote from the TAHC April 4th press release announcing they are putting off mandatory premises registration until 2007. At least one critic of the program pointed out that given current legislation (TX HB1361, I think) the TAHC could change it's mind at anytime.

VT commissioner of AG, Steve Kerr, has announced the VT Ag Dept will follow a similar path (Commercial producers premises registration by end of 2006, non-commercial by mid 2007). He was on a radio call in show last night likening Avian Flu to a burning building and the Ag Depts ability to locate flock owners as the fire fighters, an analogy he has used in every public appearence I have heard him at.

Are people aware of what other states are doing? Check your state's Ag department website for announcements about Premises ID or Animal ID.

TAHC Release Quote
"The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) will not address proposed regulations for premises registration at the upcoming May 4 TAHC commission meeting in Austin. Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas' state veterinarian and TAHC executive director, said the proposed premises registration regulations have been placed on "hold," and will not be considered by commissioners until the winter or spring of 2007."

I found this checking the Texas Animal Health Commission Watch website I mentioned in an early post on the subject.'

'Found this on the TAHC watch site, thought folks in Texas might want to know.

"On Thursday, April 20, there will be a Town Hall Meeting in Hamilton County, Texas, to discuss NAIS and the adverse impacts it will have on small farm and ranch businesses across our state and nation. The meeting will be be held in the Hamilton Junior High School Cafetorium, 420 South Taylor Street, Hamilton, Texas. It begins at 7 pm." '

" 'Below is an announcement for a No MO NAIS rally 9 AM April 18th at the capitol Rotunda in St Louis. This rally goes hand in hand with the MO house and Senate resolutions to oppose the USDA's Nathional Animal Identification System (NAIS). I had to redact the contact information for the organizors to stay within rules, but you can find it with a quick google search. Tell your friends and Neighbors in MO.'

No MO NAIS Rally:
There will be a rally against the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) on April 18th, 2006 from 9 am to noon in the Capiol Rotunda of Jefferson City, MO.

This is to be a peaceful assembly. No pies. There is a concurrent House and Senate Resolution (Senate Bill 31) against NAIS and simply need to increase knowledge and awareness of the program. The goal is to get legislation passed that would prohibit NAIS. Missouri is the second largest cattle State in the US, so this would have an enormous effect encouraging other states to follow suite.

There will be speakers beginning around 10 am. Please arrive between 9 am and 10 am so that you can visit your legislators’ offices to let them know that you oppose NAIS. Please bring your petitions and we will photocopy them there and give them to head of the Senate and the Head of the House. Signs must be hand held, with no sticks attached, some signs will be available, but feel free to make your own; an information table or two will be provided. "

ouch, sounds like a peaceful protest, but hope i am not crossing any lines by posting it, at least it said no pies LOL~tamara just in case, if anyone nneds further info, you can damil me, OK?

Falls Mills, VA

thanks for another update Tamara

Wauconda, IL

I'm in favor of NAIS...BUT.... the government should bear the cost. This is about public health. If someone knowingly sells diseased livestock to be used for human consumption, they should be put out of business, forever. JMO. If someone unknowingly sells diseased livestock to be used for human consumption, they need to be advised of that fact, and their husbandry put under the microscope and corrected. And checked up on. I don't think this proposed legislation is IS anti-bad producer.

My family deserves to not contract Variant JK or Salmonella or whatever. I don't mind paying extra for meat or eggs to compensate producers for their time and effort if the gov't won't pony up. Don't force us to become vegetarians. If we have to, we will. Sorry, but I'm not fortunate enough to have the land or considerable skills it takes to grow my own food. I depend, my life depends, on the people who grow food for the rest of us.

Flame away.

Falls Mills, VA

I agree with you as far as livestock destined to enter the public food suppy. Maybe they need to say that all livestock passing through public sales (livestock markets/stockyards) must be tracked. Without this tracking then this livestock just can't enter the stockyard or be bought by the big processors.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

yes, dode, it is just too bad that they went too far. i think because it is all about the big producers. they can afford to absorb the costs, they get gov't subsidies, funded by our tax dollars, and they control the markets. they are also the ones who will lose if this doesn't go through because of all the banned exports. it seems to me this is more about who processes the food than who grows it...

just don't buy hamburger meat. buy sirloin and ground it. or get it from a local meat packer. it wure won't kill you to go vegetarian. we eat less and less meat all the time.

but when a small producer tries to make a good change, they tell him he can't. i don't recall who, but some place in Kansas [i believe] made a deal with the Japs to test 100% of their meat for MCD. USDA says, "can't do that". so he is suing them. i need to see how that is going haven't checked on it in the last week or so.

it would be a lot simpler and less costly to just stop feeding raw by-products to the cows, and test 100% of the meat... oh, well.


Wauconda, IL

TF, I recall a story recently where a dairy farmer had started to sell milk cheaply...and the USDA busted him big time.

I thought feeding animals feed made out of other animals was illegal, and has been for quite some while?

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

oh, no! the usda allows it, and won't stop allowing it. and the stuff is NASTY, trust me, my ex-husband use to come home smelling of it. he hauled it mixed it, and delivered it, right here in feedlot country!!! almost all animals are fed animal parts!

southeast, NE

If cattle are being fed animal parts, then the feed company and the cattle feeder needs to be turned in. It is illegal!!!!!!!!!

We buy our cattle feed from a local coop that supplies feed from several different locations. One local location decided to provide feed to a local turkey grower. The turkey feed contains bone meal. In order to not accidentally mix bone meal with cattle feed, the coop decided that this location would be solely used for turkey feed and the cattle feed needs to come from another location.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

well, that is very nice of them ;-) and it may be illegal locally where you are, but the USDA allows it, and it happens here. period.

the blood, waste, etc from the floor of the Tyson slaughterhouse in Amarillo is mixed with used restaurant oil [you know, that is picked up in those big dumpsters]. and voila! a feed supplement for the cattle feeders.

as long as the USDA allows it, it will continue. i suppose they don't know what else to do with the waste products, and it is tied into many, many jobs, esp in the trucking industry.

when i raise my own cattle, i will not be feeding bone meal, blood meal, or any feed supplements. just nice pasture and some pure grains [non-GMO]!


Oakland, OR(Zone 8a)

Actually, I have never heard of any problem with using poultry by-products as long as they are well cooked - and they are! By the time they are ready to be used as feed, the fat has been cooked out of them to the point that they feel dry. The problem comes when cattle (especially) are fed the brains of other mammels, especially sheep. I worked for a rendering plant for several years, and most of our product went to feed the chickens at the Tyson plants in Arkansas. Those products would probably have been safe for people to eat, although I don't know of anyone who could get past the smells. And it is being pointed out that a bird who has gotten the bird flu is safe to eat as long as it is well cooked. It's handling a live bird with the flu that can be rather unsafe. From what I understand, it is illegal to feed any animal a by-product that has brains in it. As far as the other by-products, well humans eat some of them and call them delicatsies: i.e. liver, kidneys, sweet breads. Dotti

southeast, NE

Are you referring to a Tyson chicken or cattle slaughter plant?

Here is a web site that describes the ban on various forms of animal byproducts in cattle feed. Note these are FDA bans, not USDA and not local. If the plant you are referring to is a chicken plant and the waste is cooked, maybe the cattle feeder gets by with that.

This message was edited Apr 11, 2006 9:51 PM

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

i don't think it is a chicken processing plant, as we don't have chicken production farms, or chicken slaughter houses here.

the waste is from cattle, and it is raw. they are USDA inspected. of course, if they get careless with brain [or bone], they would get shut down.

i still think it is gross and unsafe,. and i think testing 100% would be safer.

i will look at your link later, OK... wathcing the New Ten Commandments....

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I've been following, or trying to follow, the status of Texas House bill 1361, which was passed by the legislature last year. An article in today's San Antonio Express-News reports that although the law set a deadline of July 1, 2006 for implementing the regulations, fierce opposition has forced the state agency to put the program on hold until next year.

There is discussion ongoing about whether the program should be voluntary. It is said that producers participating in the program would likely receive premium prices in the marketplace. The plan as originally outlined by the USDA was described as voluntary, but if registration does not grow at an acceptable pace, USDA will more than likely move to requiring mandatory status.

I am trying to obtain a copy of HB 1361 to see for myself what it provides. Another article I read said that failure to comply with an regulation would mean a charge of Class C misdemeanor with a fine of $500 plus daily penalties. If this is part of the bill, it should be stricken. An honest misunderstanding or oversight should not land a small producer in felony court.

For anyone whose state is still considering this legislation, I urge you to follow the discussions as closely as you can and to register your viewpoints with your representatives. There is no question that this is a huge change in market economics and will affect each of us, especially in our wallets.


Clinton, AR(Zone 7a)

If you are opposed to NAIS as I am visit the following site

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I did locate the text of the Texas law that went into effect 9-1-05. It does indeed specify crminal penalties. Also, confidentiality is nonexistent...a whole raft of people can request and receive information about individual producers. Most of those agencies, IMO, don't deserve access and aren't trustworthy! If you'd like to see this text as an example of what a state should not do, D-mail me and I'll send you the link.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

thank you!

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