Stop National Animal ID
Assault on Small Farmers
by Justin Sanders

For those of us with horses, mules, and/or oxen the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) means we will lose our right to own animals. After NAIS becomes mandatory your right to raise livestock will leave the category of “God-given right” and move over to the category of “privilege.” You will need a federal license to exercise the privilege to farm, granted to you by the United States government. That’s not the only license you’ll need, because along with losing your right to farm, you’ll lose your right to freely sell whatever you raise on your farm.

Remember your right to privacy? Disremember it. The Fed has considered privatization of the tagging and tracking components of NAIS. Private companies would then own every bit of information about your farm, just like they now own every bit of info about your spending habits. They will sell this data to make money. But that’s not all. Your farm will be open to inspection. After all, if you’re suspected of having a diseased animal, you can’t take care of that yourself, right?

Do you take animals off your farm? You will have to tag them individually and report each time they leave your premises. Actually, you'll have to file two reports—one when you leave and one when you return.

Do you use your animals to make money? If so, you'd better consider upping your prices. If your time is worth money, tagging and reporting will cost you. The tags will cost, too. So add another cost to the already expensive feeds, vet bills, vaccinations, pregnancy checks, and so forth.

If we American small farmers are forced out of business by these additional costs, who will raise the good-tempered horses suited to pull a plow? Who will breed the mules that mature to the perfect size for logging? Who will preserve the skills and traditions we enjoy by working with horses, mules, and oxen?

The NAIS is only a step. It’s another small step toward controlling your life and removing your freedoms.

Justin Sanders of Westpoint, Tennessee, lives among terrorist chickens, lambs, cows, proletarian pigs, Percherons, Haflingers, and a Belgian, while raising three sons, none of whom yet has a government-approved tag. He is working with his state’s legislators to protect Tennessee farmers from NAIS. This article appeared in The Evener 2006 issue of Rural Heritage.