Well we all knew the NAIS wasn’t really ever a ‘voluntary’ program, now it’s official.

http://www.libertyark.net/APHIS-PIN-Mandate-080922.pdf  This is the link to the full text of the USDA’s latest memo to veterinarians regarding the enforcement, against the wills of farmers, of a ‘voluntary’ program.  If you want your livestock treated or checked, you will have your farm registered, your animals placed in a database, and be assigned a PIN whether you want one or not.

Now, since the USDA hasn’t really made provisions for enforcement of this ‘voluntary’ program, it’s unclear how exactly it will be enforced…particularly in the states (mine being one of them thankfully) where it’s against the law to enforce it.  The point is, however, that this law was pushed by the CAFO organizations — they only need to get ONE PIN for their entire herd, while a small farmer has to get a number for EVERY animal he owns.  The CAFO’s already have the money and personnel to manage the databases, while the farmer will be required to purchase it and anyone who even gardens on more than the container scale will be at least slightly aware of how much time just the business of running a farm/managing crops entails.  Where will they get the time for this?  How will they afford the costs involved?  It’s not like you make a good living from farming on the sustainable scale.  Most of the farmers and ranchers I know also have side businesses.  They have to, or have a spouse who works outside the home.

Here is a letter from one of our home state senators to the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture regarding this memo:


State Senator
FortyEightth Legislature
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2890

PHONE (602) 926-3160
TOLL FREE 1-800-352-8404
FAX (602) 926-3429
E-MAIL kjohnson@azleg.state.az.us

Education Chairman
Natural Resources

October 31, 2008

Mr. Donald Butler, Director
Arizona State Dept. of Agriculture
1688 West Adams Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Dear Director Butler:

During the 2007 legislative session, I sponsored a bill (SB1428) that
prohibits forced participation in the National Animal ID System (NAIS)
in Arizona. Governor Napolitano signed that bill and it has been the
law now for more than a year. (See ARS 3-1207 and ARS 3-1214).

I recently received a copy of a Memorandum (attached) issued by the U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture which indicates that veterinarians who visit a
property are to collect the defined data fields in order to assign
a PIN, as defined in the National Animal Identification System
Program Standards.This pin is to be the location identifier for all
Veterinary Services disease program activities and according to the
memo must be assigned, with or without the consent of the property

Im sending a letter to Attorney General Terry Goddard asking him to
intervene with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in this matter. I expect
the law to be enforced in the spirit intended when it was drafted.

I would like to know how you intend to deal with this, since we have a
law in place that prohibits forced participation in NAIS? I should tell
you that I have been contacted by various Arizona residents telling me
that they are being forced into premise registration, especially the
cattlemen. I am calling on you to do everything in your power to see
that this law is respected and that animal owners in Arizona are not
compelled to register their property in a government data base.
Please advise me on how you plan to handle this.

I look forward to hearing from you in a timely manner.

Best regards,

Senator Karen S. Johnson

cc: Attorney General Terry Goddard



I applaud her courage in both sponsoring and upholding the law regarding this.

The National Animal Identification System was sponsored by factory farm corporations, designed to put small farmers out of business, to force the consumer to purchase from them, the big corporations.  It is being pushed by people who have financial ties to big business and do NOT have our best interests in mind.  A federal judge in California actually put a cease and desist order on the USDA regarding NAIS until they could address the multiple lawsuits’ concerns brought by outraged citizens.  In spite of that, it is obvious the USDA intends to push forth with this anyway.


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