Australian beef producers have hit out at the imposition of a mandatory livestock identification system, which they say erodes the sectorâ€™s competitiveness. The producers are angry that they have a mandatory system when other leading beef producers are introducing voluntary systems.
The USDA keeps pointing to Australia as the system we should emulate when it comes to National Animal Identification System (NAIS) but the Australians don't appear to be very happy with their system. The articles main concern deals with the statement I've read from the USDA that states "there won't be a mandatory ID program by 2009, as previously announced."
I hate to tell the Australians, but that statement doesn't mean there won't be a mandatory system, it just means there won't be one in 2009. The USDA might wait until 2010 or jump up the time frame and make it 2008. Mandatory NAIS is way to important to the meat packers for the USDA to abandon the whole concept unless a lot of pressure from people is laid at their feet. Contact your Congressmen out the NAIS issue and let them know your concern. Maybe together we can get this stopped.
Remember, an ear tag never stopped a disease, it just makes the Australians mad at us.