In this time of deflationary pressure on all agricultural products, farmers and ranchers got a token boost at the end of December when the USDA`s Animal and Plant Health Inspection-Veterinary Service officially cancelled its Mandatory Premise Registration Directive. The action is seen as confirming the USDA outstripped its authority when in September, under the cover of all the hoopla about the election it changed the status of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) from voluntary to mandatory. Since the program`s inception, registration had been voluntary.
The action came in response to a formal letter to the USDA from R-CALF, the national cattle producer`s organization formed to address marketing and trade issues in the cattle industry. The letter demanded the agency retract its memorandum mandating registration for all producers engaged in interstate commerce and participating in any one of the dozen or more federally regulated disease programs. According to the letter the memo constituted an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity to comment as is required under the Administrative Procedure Act.
R-CALF viewed the USDA as caught in an unlawful act of trying to convert what had been promised to be a voluntary animal identification system into a mandatory NAIS. When confronted, the agency backed down, at least for now.
According to the chairman of R-CALF`s animal identification committee quoted on the nonais website, the action by USDA confirms what they have been saying all along, that the USDA does not have the authority to implement NAIS and it is using underhanded and unlawful methods to coerce independent cattle producers into giving up their rights to their property.
What NAIS appears to be
Formulated under the Patriot Act and therefore without legislative review or public commentary, NAIS is a government program that threatens to put thousands of small farmers and ranchers out of business. It is an expensive and unnecessary federal program requiring owners of livestock to tag their animals with electronic tracking devices and report to a data base within 24 hours any births, deaths, ownership transfers, and changes in location.
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Often labeled no child left behind, the program has grown to include all livestock species including cattle, bison, deer, elk, llamas, alpacas, horses, donkeys, mules, goats, sheep, swine, all poultry species, and fish. It is the animal equivalent of the RFID embedded national ID card. NAIS would invade the privacy of small farmers and overwhelm them with fees and paperwork, driving them out of business.
Under NAIS larger livestock operations are able to tag whole groups of animals with one ID device. Smaller ranchers and farmers, however, will be forced to tag each individual animal at a cost ranging from $3 to $20 per head. And NAIS applies to anyone who owns any single animal, granny with her chicken, or the family who keeps a cow. There are no exceptions.
Up until September, membership in NAIS was to be voluntary although the term was used loosely. More than $150 million in taxpayer money has been used to promote NAIS, money that could have been spent on more inspectors to oversee meat processing plants. NAIS money has been used to influence non-government organizations into a public/private partnership to promote the organization.
The Future Farmers of American and the 4H Club received large sums in support of its member children coercing their parents to sign up. Registration has been mandatory for anyone wishing to display an animal at state fairs, and veterinarians were encouraged to register animals without the consent of the owner. Strict enforcement involves fines, inspections of properties and the potential for confiscation or redistribution of livestock done by the USDA or state governments without trial or legal hearing and with no compensation to the owner of the animals. Failure to register the home or farm with a Premise ID called for a fine of $1,000 per day.
What NAIS may really be all about
Sold to the public initially as a necessity to protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry and the economic well-being of those industries, the propaganda has increased to include protection of the public health through the ability to track to the farm of origin every animal admitted into the food chain. However, the U.S. is a net imported of beef, and the USDA is allowing importation of beef from countries where no animal tracking is available. The biggest export customers of U.S. beef are Canada and Mexico, and they do not require NAIS.
Clearly NAIS has nothing to do with arresting disease or protecting the food supply. The initiative was never intended for this purpose. State animal registries already document the origins of animals before entering the food supply. And contamination of food generally happens after the food leaves the farm. Many examples of factory contaminated food fill the news. If a problem is discovered after the food has left the factory, at the consumer level, recall procedures are in place.
Meat sold in stores and restaurants is supposedly USDA inspected during slaughter and processing. The large number of recalls reveals that meat from big commercial producers may not have been properly inspected. NAIS does nothing to halt the spread of mad cow disease, a disease believed to be caused by the practice of grinding up old cows and adding them to cow feed. This practice is banned, and it is the job of the USDA to enforce that ban. Only a more efficient USDA inspection program can improve food safety.
NAIS is not about protecting health or helping industry. It is about increasing the control of the federal government over the food supply and thereby increasing control over the American people. And some believe it is about much more.
Columnist Derry Brownfield traces the inception of NAIS back to the World Wilderness Congress held in Denver in 1987. After 1500 people from sixty countries gathered to talk about ozone deterioration, the importance of rain forests, and protecting endangered species, a few of the worlds heavy hitters in the banking industry met to chat about creation of a World Conservation Bank with collateral being derived from receipt of the world`s wilderness properties. The bank would emulate the Federal Reserve in its power to create currency and loans. It would finance itself by swapping debt for assets. A country with huge ballooning national debt like the U.S. would receive money to pay off the debt by swapping it for wilderness lands.
According to Brownfield, the goal of the World Bank has been the insistence on collateralization of loans with land (they give you the money, you give them the Amazon). Like the Federal Reserve, the World Bank can create a limitless supply of money they will then barter with debtor nations such as the U.S. in a scheme to monetize land. In this position the World Bank will function as the bank for the coming one-world government and will issue a one-world fiat currency.
The only assets the U.S. has to offer as collateral are federal lands and national parks, including the Heritage sites. In addition to this is the Rim of the Valley National Park that would include over 500,000 acres of national forest land and 170,000 parcels of private property that include many farms and ranches, according to Brownfield. There is also a bill before Congress calling for the increase in acreage of designated wildernesses by 50% in the lower 48 states. Other countries have much greater acreage. All together this land comprises over one third of the earth`s land mass. Brownfield sees the NAIS is a way to get even more.
He points out that throughout the literature of NAIS, land is referred to as premises, not property. While the Constitution of the United States grants property rights exclusively to the owner attached to it under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, a premise has no such protection.
The word premise is a synonym for the word tenement which is defined in law as property such as land held by one person leasing it to another in conveyance. Conveyance is defined as the transfer of ownership of real property from one person to another. Brownfield is convinced that once property is registered with NAIS the deed becomes encumbered by the term premise.
As the recent unfolding of what has been dubbed the financial crisis has revealed, the central bankers of the world are in the process of accumulating the wealth of the world. The term wealth has traditionally placed priority value on land and livestock. When people have been stripped of the ownership of their assets and thus their wealth, there is little to prevent them from falling into enslavement.