US Farmers and ranchers are not a timid bunch - from year to year they deal with markets that go from boom to bust, and weather that goes from drought to flood. So what could the United States Department of Agriculture do to make them threaten to get out of the business altogether? The answer is a program called the National Animal Identification System. Can you tell the USDA that NAIS hurts small farmers?
NAIS is supposed to track the movement of livestock and allow authorities to respond to disease outbreaks. But in reality the program is so fatally flawed that it helps no one except corporate livestock companies.
Why is this program bad for farmers? For starters, it puts a huge burden on family farms. Small-scale farmers will be forced to buy expensive electronic tags for each animal, while large factory farmers can cover all their animals with just one. The program also ignores government programs we already have to deal with animal health problems and creates a huge new bureaucracy. Tell Secretary Vilsack to stop forcing farmers into NAIS!
If USDA were serious about improving the safey of the meat production, there are lots of things it could do. It could increase testing for mad cow disease, fund disease prevention programs, or crack down on factory farms that use methods that raise the risk of disease. USDA could also try to track something useful - like where contaminated meat goes after it leaves the slaughterhouse.
Instead of getting serious about improving safety, NAIS forces family famers into a program that many object to and few can afford.
Tell USDA to stop forcing farmers into a broken program. http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/t/741/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26867
Thanks for taking action,
Alex, Sarah, Noelle and The Food Team
Food & Water Watch