According to Dow Jones, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight promised Wednesday to keep the national animal identification system (NAIS) a permanently voluntary system. The Dow Jones article said Knight wants to end debate over whether or not the NAIS will ever become mandatory, because that worry is only impeding progress on implementing a voluntary system.
The Dow Jones report comes as USDA issued a 65-guide to the NAIS Wednesday. In an interview with Brownfield late last month, Knight also assured producers the NAIS would remain voluntary.
So, we have assurances and promises from Bruce Knight that NAIS will remain voluntary. What good is this promise? How can I be sure the next administration won't decide to make it mandatory? Hell, how can I be sure Johanns won't disavow Knight and decide to make it mandatory?
A government official's promise has absoultely no value in the real world and means nothing. Even if Congress were to pass the Emerson/Talent bill to make sure it stays voluntary it means nothig, the law could be changed down the line.
Knight's promise is really so much hot air since incoming House Agriculture Leader Collin Peterson has stated that he will work to ensure NAIS is mandatory which would blow Knight's promise to shreds.
We need to keep working on our Representatives on this issue with all the new members coming in. We can stop this if we try hard enough.
An ear tag never stopped a disease, but if we work hard enough we can make sure the ear tag remains voluntary.