Tuesday, August 7, 2007

NAIS---more action STILL required

I received this in my email today. Please read it and do as you feel you need to with the information. Though we MAY be making head way---we still have a ways to go. By the way---if ever you think NAIS may not be that big of a deal, find someone who blogs that raises animals in England and ask them about what it's like with their program there. You might find yourself un pleasantly surprised.

From Liberty Ark.

ACTION ALERT: Write your local newspaper about NAIS and the GAO report

On Friday afternoon, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited report on NAIS. Although GAO was critical of USDA’s implementation of NAIS, the report was a disappointment. The GAO appeared to start with the assumption that NAIS would be an effective means of addressing animal diseases, something for which there is NO evidence at all! You can read the report at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07592.pdf

Several news outlets have done stories about the GAO report, so now is a great time to get the press to pay attention to our side of the story! A good way to do that is with a letter to the editor. If you can get a letter in within a few days, they are much more likely to print it. Below is a sample letter. Use it, or write your own. Keep the letter short, to the point, and clear. It is helpful to mention specific Congressmen’s or Senators’ names in your letters, to get their attention!

As always, if you have any questions, contact us at noah@libertyark.net


Dear Editor,

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report highly critical of the USDA's proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The report can be found on the internet at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07592.pdf. The GAO report faults the government’s failure to effectively implement the program, and noted the lack of a cost analysis despite the federal government having spent over $100 million already. Yet this only begins to scratch the surface of the problems with NAIS. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has failed to provide any evidence that the program will actually help control disease outbreaks, so there are no clear benefits to off-set the as-yet-unknown costs. Will NAIS actually provide any benefits over our existing systems? Should our limited resources be spent electronically tracking every livestock and poultry animal in the country, rather than inspecting imported foods from China or enforcing border controls to keep sick animals out of the country? What about the intangible costs in time, inconvenience, and loss of privacy for the millions of Americans who own animals as pets or for hobbies, as well as farmers and ranchers? Also, why will confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) have less strict rules than local hobby or small farmers who are just raising a few animals for their selves? Considering that, unfortunately, a majority of our food still comes from CAFO's this should be a huge concern and smacks of favoritism to large corporations. Neither Congress nor the USDA have even attempted to answer these questions.

I urge everyone to ask Senator Harkin and Senator Chambliss to hold oversight hearings in the Senate Agriculture Committee to look into the full scope of the problems with NAIS. Non-government sources, such as the Liberty Ark Coalition (www.libertyark.net) have compiled significant evidence of the problems with NAIS.

Thanks everyone

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