ABA Congratulate R-Calf on NAIS Influence

US - The US cattle industry has moved a step further away from implementing a National Animal Identification Scheme (NAIS) thanks to the Ranchers and Cattlemens' Action Legal Fund (R-CALF)', stated Chairman Brad Bellinger.
calendar icon 7 January 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

USDA (The United States Department of Agriculture) issued a memorandum on 22 September 2008 to mandate premise 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 programmes.

"R-CALF told the USDA that the memo constitutes an unlawful action implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act. As a result, the memorandum has now been cancelled," continued Mr Bellinger.

"This premise registration equivalent to our PIC (Property Identification Code) is the first step for the USDA to build their NAIS ambitions on. R-CALF has recognised this and is now encouraging cattle producers not to register their premises, or if they already registered, to remove their premise names and property off the NAIS database.

"Australia's NLIS has now cost our cattle producers over $350 million dollars in tags and reading charges alone and continues to be a disaster. Inaccuracies in producers database accounts, consistently run at between 20 and 30 per cent, with tag loss rates reported as high as 80 per cent," stated Mr Bellinger.

"What is worse, no vote was conducted in Australia to determine if cattle producers wanted this scheme to become mandatory. ABA knows most producers are fed up with the system, once they discovered it was not just a matter of putting a tag in an animal's ear. They are also fed up with bearing most of the costs of implementation.

"The State Governments, which are implementing mandatory NLIS, are now in the embarrassing situation, says an ABA press release, adding that the reasons for implementing NLIS are proving to be incorrect.

"There is no 'paddock to plate' traceability, - despite the promises; - there has been no increase to market access and the claim that other countries will be soon be following Australia's lead in implementing NLIS, especially by the US, is a fallacy.

"R-CALF is to be congratulated by saving the American cattle producer from being inflicted with one of the most costly white elephants that could be imposed upon the cattle industry, which has proved to be of little benefit to anyone, other than to tag companies," Mr Bellinger claimed.

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