Big Brother's Animal Farm; Gov't Program to Track Every Beast - Except Pigs!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 6:46pm.
This is beyond ridiculous. The federal government is now going to track every farm animal across the country, from birth to death, because it wants to watch out for the extremely faint possibility of a bioterrorist attacking the food chain.
From L.A. Times:
A Bush administration initiative, the National Animal Identification System is meant to provide a modern tool for tracking disease outbreaks within 48 hours, whether natural or the work of a bioterrorist. Most farm animals, even exotic ones such as llamas, will eventually be registered. Information will be kept on every farm, ranch or stable. And databases will record every animal movement from birth to slaughterhouse, including trips to the vet and county fairs.  

But the system is spawning a grass-roots revolt.

Family farmers see it as an assault on their way of life by a federal bureaucracy with close ties to industrial agriculture. They point out that they will have to track every animal while vast commercial operations will be allowed to track whole herds.

Privacy advocates say the database would create an invasive, detailed electronic record of farmers' activities. Religious farming communities, such as the Amish and Mennonites, fear the system is a manifestation of the Mark of the Beast foretold in the Book of Revelation.

And despite the administration's insistence that the program is voluntary, farmers and families, such as the Calderwoods, chafe at the heavy-handed and often mandatory way states have implemented it, sometimes with the help of sheriff's deputies.

The result is a system meant to help farms that many farmers oppose.

I can't get the Dept of Agriculture NAIS site to load [it's working now-- ed.], but there is this Q&A site that seems to be working, and you can access this Wiki site for more information. Also read this very good commentary discussing the details of this program. It appears that this administration wants to develop a huge, imposing database on those American families who raise animals, with very little evidence of an actual threat or of the policy's effectiveness. And isn't it nice that the huge agrobusinesses get exemptions from the program. What constitutes a greater risk, the dozen llamas on Mary Smith's farm or the ten thousand cooped-up chickens in the poultry processing center? How unlike the Republican party to endorse such a big government solution on Americans, but not big industry, without due justification. It's almost like the TSA for farms...

Oh, and that marking system that the NAIS demands? Pigs are exempt from the tracking requirement; some animals are more equal than others.


Jason Sigger - January 17,2008 - Source: Wired

 

 

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 6:46pm.