We keep getting sold the whole bill of goods on NAIS by the constant chorus that Australia is doing it so we need to. According to the proponents of the system all is working out well Down Under and we should be meek little sheep and follow along. Let's take a brief glimpse at how it's working out Down Under.
Livestock tracking system `on track'
National Livestock Identification System chairman John Wyld has defended the system against claims that it was not working and offered producers no benefit.
Mr Wyld, of Victoria, said that Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers office bearers should focus on the interests of grassroots members in Tasmania rather than operate as "a mouthpiece for those constantly negative attacks emanating from another state".
In The Examiner earlier this month, Australian Beef Association chairwoman Linda Hewitt was quoted as saying that the nine million phantom cattle that no longer existed, but whose tags were still active, showed the system didn't work.
TFGA Meat Council chairman Laurie Appleby, too, was critical of the way NLIS was working.
He said that the only people making money out of NLIS were those supplying the system with tags or readers.
He questioned the value of an Australian tracking system whose participants received a lower price than their American counterparts who used no such system.
So, the chairman of the system thinks it's working great, but the people using the system see problems. 9 million tags still active but no cattle to go along with them. It seems they were slaughtered and the meat packers never removed the tags from the database like they should. Fun isn't it.
They also complain that there is no financial benefit to the system and that US producers are still getting more for their cattle and have no such system. How true this is I can't say but these are the people on the ground seeing this, so i imagine they have a good idea.
One last thing. The whole idea of this system is to be able to track an animal to it's place of origin in case of a disease. Is this working in Australia?
But former TFGA Meat Council chairman David Byard said that the recent hydatids cyst find at Killafaddy showed the system was flawed.
The cyst was found in a beast whose head had already been removed and there was no way of identifying the infected carcass or where it originated, he said.
"I'm afraid we've been sold a bunny - what's the use of a system that only traces a beast to slaughter," he said.
"The much lauded paddock-to-plate traceability doesn't exist."
They've been sold a "bunny." The disease trace back didn't work. So we are getting a disease trace back system forced on us, modeled on the Australian example, and that example has prove not to work. This is just wonderful.
An ear tag never stopped a disease, and now it's proved to not be able to trace one back either.