Electronic Animal ID is back!

Federal agencies have a terrible habit of trying to push through bad policies under the cover of darkness … and USDA’s electronic animal ID program is a prime example. As we head into the holiday weekend, USDA has quietly published new plans to mandate electronic animal ID.

BACKGROUND: FARFA was founded to fight the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to require the owners of every single livestock and poultry animal in the country to register their property with the government, tag each animal with an internationally unique ID number (in most cases, with electronic forms of ID), and report their movements to a corporate/government shared database. This program was developed by agribusinesses, their trade associations, and technology vendors, all of whom stood to make huge profits in different ways.  

These industry groups collaborated with USDA to roll out the program in 2005 under a deceptive “voluntary system.” But while it was called voluntary, the USDA was funding state agencies to reach 100% compliance, which meant that the state agencies were adopting coercive and mandatory programs to reach that goal.…

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