|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