The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is a program initiated by the federal government to attach a radio frequency identification device (RFID) to each of the approximately 40 million cows, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs, horses, and other animals on 1.4 million U.S. farms, enabling regulators to quickly track and respond to mad cow disease, bioterrorism, and other such calamities.
The program is billed as "voluntary" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but that term is used about as loosely as a staff sergeant's call for volunteers. Already there is talk that states failing to enforce NAIS could lose USDA funding for certain programs, and that farmers whose premises and animals aren't registered could encounter trouble should their animals be shipped out of state and thus be deemed part of "interstate commerce."
Exactly what I was worried about. A "voluntary" program that is coercively "voluntary." You do it our way voluntarily or you will be punished. Isn't that a great way to run our country. The Feds have done it before and they will do it again.
I would be curious to know where the talk is coming from. Almost all opponents of NAIS, including me, have speculated that the Feds will do this but I wonder if there is something concrete or it's just hot air we are spreading.
How to derail this? I guess more letters to local and state politicians against making NAIS coercively "voluntary." It's the wrong approach.
An ear tag never stopped a disease.