USDA Implements National Animal Identification System

The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) keeps track of all livestock, but may benefits large, commercial growers rather than small farmers.

| February/March 2006

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is developing a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) for all livestock. The plan — which may become mandatory — would require every person who owns even one livestock animal to register in a federal database and to tag the animal, possibly with a microchip that can be read from a distance.

The USDA says the program would help identify farm animals exposed to diseases, so that problems can be contained and eradicated quickly.

Critics say that NAIS is just another program designed to benefit large-scale producers whose animals have a higher risk of disease outbreaks. They are also concerned the identification program will invade farmers’ privacy and create heavy financial burdens for small-scale producers.

To learn more about the potential problems of the National Animal Identification System, search for the article “The Real Deal: Tagging Terrorist Chickens” at Scoop – New Zealand News. For the USDA’s perspective and to read the public comments on the proposal, go to the Animal Disease Traceability page on the USDA’s website.

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