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The United States Dept. of Ag is holding Listening Sessions around the country regarding the National Animal Identification System. These will be held throughout the country, and if people can attend, they need to. If you can' t attend the meeting in your area, please submit comments to the USDA/Federal Registry through the website address below:

For Farmers and Consumers Defending the Right to Buy and Protecting the
Right to Sell Nutritious Food Directly from the Farm
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Secretary Vilsack Announces National Animal Identification System Listening Session Locations

Joelle Schelhaus (301) 734-0595
Andrea McNally (301) 734-0602

Article from www.aphis.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2009--Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will hold a series of listening sessions on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The meetings will take place next month in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state.

“USDA needs to hear directly from our stakeholders as we work together to create an animal disease traceability program we can all support,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “I encourage individuals and organizations to voice their concerns, ideas and potential solutions about animal identification, by either attending these listening sessions or submitting comments online.”

APHIS seeks to gather not only producer comments and concerns, but also potential or feasible solutions to create a program producers can feel comfortable supporting. The listening sessions will include information about the current program, as well as an opportunity to give public testimony or ask program-related questions. Discussion sessions related to NAIS’ cost, impact on small farmers, privacy and confidentiality, liability premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing will allow producers to provide their input on ways to make the program into something they can support.

The public meetings will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, with registration one hour prior to each meeting. The meetings will be held in the following locations:

Thursday, May 14: Harrisburg, Pa.
Monday, May 18: Pasco, Wash.
Wednesday, May 20: Austin, Texas
Thursday, May 21: Birmingham, Ala.
Friday, May 22: Louisville, Ky.
Wednesday, May 27: Storrs, Conn.
Monday, June 1: Greeley, Colo.

For additional information, or to submit comments visit:

The USDA states that this program will guard against food safety issues, animal diseases, and protect our livestock from terrorists. It won't. What it will do is to give benefits to agri-business giants who do not need to meet all three levels of compliance - Premises, Tag and Track. It will cost small farms, 4H families, horse owners and others who keep small numbers of livestock, with additional costs of purchasing tags, applicators, readers, replacements, memberships to tracking databases, and the cost of each report. It may endanger personal privacy by putting information in the hands of our competition, and it will give the USDA and other agencies permission to go "on farm," without a warrant.

Protect local food, small farms, individual rights and the planet by commenting against NAIS. Visit the session near you, speak up if you can. Everyone should send in comments to the Registry. The USDA wants to mandate NAIS, regardless of what it does to our food system, families and environment. Help us stop them!

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Thanks for posting this... I think this is a real threat to being able to have chicken in the back yard for eggs or a few animals for your own sustainability. And, will make smaller farms unable to survive due to the costs of their program.

I just recently stumbled on this issue and I'm shocked at the depth they are striving to strip our rights for our property and it's uses. I'm sending my comments to the USDA and will continue to watch out for ongoing efforts to keep us from farming or raising our own food.

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