A rancher's response to the NAIS: We can't give up
freedom for a little safety!
By Bert Smith
April 15, 2006
The U.S.A. is the most disease-free country in the world. Our state veterinarians do a very good job to control, track, and stop livestock disease at the state borders. Our veterinarians should be responsible to track the origins of all imported meat in our state. All imported meat must be electronically certified before entering our state. We do not need NAIS tracking in the U.S.
I have a Nevada cattle ranch. When I get ready to sell my cattle to a feedlot, I must get a health inspection that certifies that the veterinarian and I guarantee they are healthy. I can't guarantee they won't get sick in the feedlot if co-mingled with other sick cattle, or in the packinghouse if meat is co-mingled with imported meat. Agribusiness wants a scapegoat to protect them from liability, if an epidemic does break out.
This National Animal Identification System (NAIS) can arbitrarily fine me $1,000.00, per day, for each animal, if I don't sign up. If you have 10 head, it would be $10,000 a day. The effect of the program is the transfer of the control of private property to the government, while forcing the property owner to pay the cost of the transfer – with no due process of law. The Fourth Amendment accrues to us protection against unreasonable searches and seizures in our persons, houses, papers, and effects. If they force us to register our property and animals, we do not own them. They control our private information, and us. It is illegal to seize this information.
The experts have checked this law, and find it in violation of state and federal Constitutions. It is an absolute law, with excessive fines and punishment, with no appeal. Livestock people can be fined for small record-keeping mistakes, loss of ear tags, and livestock containment. There will be thousands of special agents checking for violations. The world already accepts American meat products as having the highest safety standards. (We do not need NAIS for our exporting). It is most obvious that big agribusiness and USDA would sell out the freedom of America, for a little more profit for manufactured meats and by-products. The export market is already anxious for all of the hides.
Each state has received $14.3 million in grant money from the USDA, to fund applications from the states to register premises and the NAIS. It would be embarrassing for our national and state associations to sign up for this program.
The NAIS strikes at the foundation of the basic principle of our custom, culture, and our God-given rights of life, liberty, and property.
This article was written by Bert Smith, of Ruby Valley, Nevada.