High Price Leads to Poor Cattle ID Partcipation

US - Controversy continues to swirl around the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a USDA/APHIS-controlled registry for livestock and land where they are kept.
calendar icon 21 April 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

The programme, initiated in 2003, was developed as a way to quickly track and eradicate outbreaks of animal disease, reports DeltaFarmPress. By having rapid disease “traceability” in place, NAIS proponents — which includes veterinary associations — claim millions of animals and billions of dollars can be saved when disease arises.

According to DeltaFarmPress, while NAIS has been voluntary, sign-ups haven’t been overwhelming. Politicians and government officials are now considering making the programme mandatory. This has unleashed a torrent of criticism with privacy issues and the cost to small producers taking center stage.

During a mid-March hearing on NAIS, APHIS officials told the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry that the poultry and sheep industries have the best participation in the programme. Cattle signups, however, lag.

That admission surely wasn’t a surprise for Max Thornsberry, who also testified at the hearing. Thornsberry — president of the Ranchers-Cattleman Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) — claimed NAIS is unnecessary as existing USDA programmes already protect cattle. Congress shouldn’t “allow USDA to supplant these successful programmes with an unproven system that is likely to consume more resources in its administration than the agency now spends in prevention, control, and eradication of cattle diseases.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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