Over 100 ranchers, farmers, horse lovers and property owners gathered last week at the Pipe Creek Community Center, each seeking translation for a wafting murmur that reeks of the ultimate big brother intrusion. Most left the Thursday-night town hall meeting prepared for what some may consider a revolution.
The issue at hand that had the crowd up in arms is a government plan labeled the National Animal Identification System (NAIS - pronounced [nase]). Reportedly buried in 2004 farm bill HB1361 after being lobbied by industrial-agricultural companies, NAIS was allegedly conceived for the purpose of safeguarding the country's meat supply by controlling the outbreak of communicable, deadly disease. What the public fears, however, is the apparent grander scheme.
"The time has come to pay closer attention to how the government is ruling our lives," Rancher Karen Brown said. "The USDA continues to misrepresent this as a volunteer program. In Texas, the penalty is up to $1,000 a day and may include jail time for failure to comply. A system that carries penalties is not a voluntary system."
Still fighting the authorities in Texas. Good job, keep up the good work.