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NAIS UPDATE: May, 19, 2008

NAIS Update
USDA Privacy Act Notices, Missouri and Illinois News

While Congress focuses on passing the Farm Bill, the NAIS fight continues on other fronts. Calls are needed to support an anti-NAIS bill in Illinois, and
Missouri has passed its anti-NAIS bill! The USDA has published a Privacy Act notice in the Federal Register, and people can submit comments until May 30.
More details on all of these below.

Calls Needed in Illinois

HB 5776 is heading for the "3rd reading" and vote on the Senate floor this week! This bill does two things: (1) forbids the Illinois Department of Agriculture from requiring premises registration or NAIS electronic identification for the fairs, unless required by federal law and (2) requires the IDOA to develop a procedure for people to withdraw from NAIS, so that the thousands of people who have already signed up can get back out.

Below is a list of the Senate sponsors. If your Senator has sponsored the bill, please call and say thank you! It is important that they hear that their constituents appreciate their sponsorship, so that they don't change their minds. If your Senator has not yet sponsored the bill, please call and make sure that they intend to vote yes.

It's also critical that you call your Representative. HB 5776 was amended by the Senate Agriculture Committee, and so the bill will go back to the House for
concurrence. The session adjourns on May 29, so time is running very short! Please call now!!

For talking points and more information about NAIS and Illinois, go to  or contact the Farm and Ranch
Freedom Alliance, 866-687-6452 or


1) Contact your Senator. You can look up who represents you at
 Remember, HB 5776 is a state bill, so look for your state legislators' information. You can also call the Illinois Legislature's information line at 217-782-3944.

Current Senate sponsors of HB 5776: Pamela J. Althoff, Tim Bivins, J. Bradley Burzynski, Gary G. Dahl, Deanna Demuzio, Gary Forby, Michael Frerichs, David Luechtefeld, John Jones, Christine Radogno, Dale A. Righter, John M. Sullivan, Frank C. Watson

MESSAGE: If your Senator is already a co-sponsor, call and tell them "Thank you for supporting HB 5776 and independent agriculture in Illinois." If your
Senator is not already a co-sponsor, call and urge him or her to vote yes on HB 5776!

2) Contact your Representative. You can look up who represents you at  Remember, HB 5776 is a state bill, so look for your state
legislators' information. You can also call the Illinois Legislature's information line at 217-782-3944.

MESSAGE: "Vote yes on HB 5776 when it comes back from the Senate."


There is a lot of debate around a provision that was added to HB 5776 in the House. This provision would strip the Governor and agency of rulemaking authority without legislative approval. The provision was added to many of the bills in the House and has nothing to do with NAIS -- it is about the balance of power between the branches of government. The Senate Agriculture Committee removed the provision.

Assuming HB 5776 passses the Senate, either the House will have to concur in the Senate version or the Senate will have to concur in the House version. In other words, there's major risk that the bill could die because of disagreements that have nothing to do with NAIS. So it's important to call BOTH your Senator and Representative, and be clear that you want them to pass HB 5776. Ask them to set aside the other issues, and agree that NAIS should not be
forced on our children and that people should be able to withdraw from it.

Missouri Bill Passes

On Thursday, the Missouri Legislature passed SB 931, an omnibus agriculture bill that includes an anti-NAIS provision!!!

Section 267.168 of SB 931 states:

267.168. 1. The state of Missouri may support a voluntary animal identification program. The department of agriculture shall not mandate or otherwise force national animal identification system (NAIS) premises registration without specific statutory authorization from the Missouri general assembly.

2. Any person who participates in the national animal identification system may withdraw from the system at any time. All personal information relating to a participant shall be deleted from the system when the participant withdraws, unless the participant is part of an ongoing disease investigation or disease monitoring or control program.

3. If the provisions of this section interfere with the marketing of Missouri livestock, the governor by executive order may waive the provisions of this section in whole or in part until the Missouri general assembly takes action to reinstate or modify the provisions of this section.

Many thanks and congratulations to all of the people and organizations in Missouri who worked so hard to make this happen! Special thanks to Ray Cunio, Russell Woods, Doreen Hannes, Bob Parker, and the others who have worked tirelessly in this fight. The bill contains some loopholes, so the fight is not over. But this is an important step.

The Governor is expected to sign SB 931 without any problem. This will make four states that have adopted statutes rejecting a mandatory NAIS!!!

USDA Privacy Act Notices

The USDA published a Privacy Act Notice in the April 30th issue of the Federal Register, at 73 Fed. Reg. 23412. It is online at

The Privacy Act of 1974 is intended to "provide certain safeguards for an individual against an invasion of personal privacy" by giving individuals certain rights and requiring agencies to follow certain procedures. One of the required procedures is to publish notice in the Federal Register "upon establishment or revision" of a "system of records." That notice must include the routine uses of the information, which determine when the information can be disclosed.
So, by publishing this notice, USDA is essentially stating when information collected under NAIS can be disclosed as a matter of course.

In the notice, the USDA states: "APHIS may routinely share information contained in USDA's portion of the NAIS with Federal and State animal health officials during an incident of an animal disease, bioterrorism, or other animal health event. APHIS may disseminate information to Federal and State animal health officials within the system for educational purposes and to obtain feedback regarding the NAIS program and emergency preparedness guidelines. Other routine uses of this information include releases related to investigations pertaining to violations of law or related to litigation. A complete listing of the routine uses for this system is included in this notice. The information collection requests associated with this system have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act." The notice then sets out a long list of "routine uses" of the information.

Comments on the Privacy Act notice are due by May 30, 2008. You can submit comments online here, or by mailing to: Docket No. APHIS-2007-0015, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700, River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD, 20737-1238.

If you submit comments to the USDA, be sure to send a copy to your U.S. Representative and Senators. You can find out who represents you at

Double Your Donation!

A generous donor has provided a $1,500 matching donation! That means that, when you donate to FARFA, your donation will be doubled!!

Donate at 

If you are a member, please help us meet this matching donation by giving an additional donation. And if you aren't already a member, please consider becoming a member! The more members we have, the more the legislators will pay attention to what we have to say!! And, of course, we need money to keep doing this work. Printing costs, the website, telephone, mailing costs, exhibits at conference, and travel for lobbying are not free.

Please help us to protect your rights and your food supply. Join today!

This is an exciting time in the movement to stop NAIS. More states are passing anti-NAIS bills and the Legal Defense Fund has sent a notice of intent to sue the USDA (see the press release at These are wonderful developments! But we still have a long way to go. Educating the public and our legislators about NAIS and the threats to independent agriculture is critical to long-term success. Please help in this effort
by downloading materials from our website,, and sharing them with your community and elected officials. 

Working together, we can make our voices heard.

Judith McGeary
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance


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