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View Diary: Let's Make Sure We Have No Option But Factory Farmed Food. Mmm! (262 comments)

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  •  Can there be a compromise? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, Tanya, skohayes, Jill Richardson, Ebby

    I think there may be well-intentioned motivations for the NAIS.  The point needs to be about avoiding the unintended consequences to smaller, local producers.

    •  sure (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tanya, Ebby, jrshipley

      make it voluntary? make it mandatory for factory farms only? but they want it to be fully mandatory for everybody even pet owners.

      I wrote a book! You should buy it!

      by Jill Richardson on Mon May 11, 2009 at 09:10:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mandatory if shipped out of state else voluntary. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabian, fayea

        Problem solved?

        I'm thinking of the public health issues though.  With bird/swine flu type things maybe there's a motive for wanting all the animals registered.  I don't really know.  On the one hand, factory farms have the animals packed closer in dirtier spaces so are maybe more of a risk.  On the other hand, pastoral farms allow more interaction between farm animals and the wild animals that can be disease vectors.  I definitely agree that the pastoral ideal is more humane and generally better ecologically; I don't know about the disease aspect, however.

        I'm unmoved by the "just keep government off my back" argument from small producers.  If there's a good reason (again, I don't have the knowledge to assess the reasons) then I'm ok with mandatory compliance.  But if the burden for compliance is disproportionate maybe something needs to be put in place to help smaller producers with the cost.

        •  the more crowded the animals (0+ / 0-)

          the disease spreads faster in crowded populations - that includes humans.

          the more crowded a population, the harder it is to keep the environment free of germs clean, the more contact with body fluids.

          thus pastured people (farm folks) tend to spread their germs more slowly than city folks who sneeze on their hands and then grab a subway pole. (just sayin)

          works the same way with cows, pigs etc thoughI haven't seen many cows on the subway.

      •  Since it's protection for animal disease (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrshipley

        not human disease, and many small operations don't vaccinate or test their animals for disease like the larger operators do, making it voluntary wouldn't accomplish the goals set out by the USDA.

        Owners who do not sell livestock for
        a living, whose animals are raised for
        their own consumption, can participate
        in NAIS for little or no cost and with
        minimal effort.
        Since these animals do not leave
        their birth farm until custom slaughter,
        simply obtaining a PIN would be a
        sufficient level of NAIS participation
        to benefit the owner. There is no cost
        associated with signing up for a PIN
        and the process takes very little time
        to complete. There is a simple form
        to fill out that asks for basic contact
        information and the species kept at
        the location.
        Because these animals do not come
        into contact with, or commingle, with
        animals from other locations, their risk
        of disease exposure is low. They do not
        need to be identifi ed through NAIS.

        http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/...

        I don't understand the hysteria over this- small home farmers would not be affected, except to do a registration of their premises online.
        Organic farms who raise animals are already registered with the USDA as organic farms (so the invasion of privacy is really a non-issue) and can use several different types of identification (not just RFID chips) to ID their animals.
        If anyone was around to witness the devastation that went through England during the hoof and mouth outbreak, who watched perfectly healthy animals get euthanized because of alleged exposure (and the origin of the disease was traced back to a guy who fed garbage to pigs in the backyard, by the way), or who has been through a practice run of a similar disease outbreak in the US, they would understand why some people support this.

        •  Garbage was IMPORTED (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          judith2007

          into England from a country with FMD. I doubt that the backyard farmer was doing the importing.

          A sidenote, the last FMD case in the U.S was in 1929. It was also caused by importing contaminated feed.

          The last outbreak of FMD in Englad was caused by leakage from a lab working on FMD vaccines.

        •  Read the documents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4Freedom, CcVenussPromise

          The soundbites sound good -- and they do NOT match up to the government's own documents.

          If you read the full-length plans from USDA, what they say is that animals that are born on the property, never leave the property, and either die on the property or are killed for personal consumption only, will not have to be tagged and tracked.

          Reality check: breeding animals is expensive.  It takes an investment in the breeding stock, land, and year-round upkeep.  So the people who have animals born on their land are almost always in the business of selling something, whether it is the live animals or the meat.  People who are raising food only for personal consumption almost always buy young animals from other people.  So, in practical terms, almost no one is exempt from having to tag and track their animals.

          As for the claims of health benefits, I talked yet again to a USDA official just this morning to ask whether they will ever produce any studies showing that NAIS will actually improve our ability to respond to diseases.  I filed the first FOIA request for these documents 2 1/2 years ago, and USDA has yet to produce a single study.  

          Support small farms! Go to www.farmandranchfreedom.org

          by judith2007 on Mon May 11, 2009 at 12:48:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  NAIS won't stop the government from killing (4+ / 0-)

          animals.  The specter of food & mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most common arguments raised in support of NAIS.  But NAIS would not stop the government from mass slaughter of animals.  To do that, we have to change other government policies.

          First, consider why the UK killed all those animals.  FMD is not transmissible to humans, and the vast majority of animals who get it will recover.  And there is a vaccine for it!  The only reason to kill animals, rather than vaccinate, is because of the export market -- since a blood test from a vaccinated animal looks like a blood test from an animal who actually got sick, a country can't export animals or meat if it vaccinates.  So the decision to kill all of those animals was made on the basis of the profits that would be lost to the huge companies, not for health reasons.  

          Anyone think USDA wouldn't place a priority on the profits of the meat packing companies in the same way?

          Second, looking at the health issues, FMD is airborne and transmissible by any cloven-hooved animal. So the wild deer and feral hogs that are widespread throughout this country would be vectors for the disease.  So even if you could show that your animals never left your property, there is no guarantee that they were not exposed, and USDA's policy calls for mass depopulation.  

          A 2005 GAO report on Agroterrorism identified several things USDA needed to change to address the threat of widespread livestock disease outbreaks.  Increased tracking of animals was not on the list!  Notably, the recommendations included such things as increased inspections of imports, better training for veterinarians in recognizing foreign animal diseases, the use of field testing to immediately detect exposed animals, and better protocols for vaccination.  These recommendations reflect things that went wrong in England's FMD outbreak -- they allowed the disease into the country through imports, the animal owners and vets didn't diagnose the disease until it was already very widespread, and they chose mass depopulation over field testing and vaccination.  

          If you allow the disease into the country, let it spread for a few weeks before detecting it, and then prioritize export markets over health -- you'll end up with millions of animals killed to protect the export market, with or without NAIS.  

          Support small farms! Go to www.farmandranchfreedom.org

          by judith2007 on Mon May 11, 2009 at 12:57:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very interesting comment. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            Notably, the recommendations included such things as increased inspections of imports, better training for veterinarians in recognizing foreign animal diseases, the use of field testing to immediately detect exposed animals, and better protocols for vaccination.  These recommendations reflect things that went wrong in England's FMD outbreak -- they allowed the disease into the country through imports, the animal owners and vets didn't diagnose the disease until it was already very widespread, and they chose mass depopulation over field testing and vaccination.  

            You have to wonder what those in charge really hope to accomplish.

            Proud member of the "Dkos Swine Lobby" since April 2009

            by the fan man on Mon May 11, 2009 at 02:34:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  read the book Mad Sheep (0+ / 0-)

          this is partially a system to ensure that when or if an animal disease gets into this country, the government knows which animals to kill. The government HAS killed the animals belonging to private individuals and family farms, with or without compensating them for the losses. And it has done so in the absence of any animal or human health problem or risk, with no justification whatsoever. So the outrage from small farmers is partially not just the money, not just the privacy, but also the fact that once they are signed up, Uncle Sam will know where all the animals are in case they want to kill them.

          I wrote a book! You should buy it!

          by Jill Richardson on Tue May 12, 2009 at 06:01:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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