Learn about the fight against the mandatory NAIS in Arizona, and the cost and viability of this flawed animal identification system.
On May 1, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano signed a bill to prohibit mandatory participation in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), making Arizona the first state to take such action. The U.S. Department of Agriculture first proposed the program in April 2005 with the intent of requiring producers across the country to register their farms and livestock in a national database beginning in 2007, as a means to identify the origin of diseased animals. As questions were raised about the cost and viability of the program (read more about its flaws in “The Truth About the Animal ID Plan” and “Government Program Seeks to Tag Every Livestock Animal in the U.S.”), the registration requirement was reduced to “voluntary at the federal level,” leaving the final say up to individual states. Close on Arizona’s heels is Texas — at press time, a bill to block mandatory participation passed the House, and was under consideration in the Senate.
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