Monday, April 16, 2007

Horse Owners Are You Aware of National Animal Identification System? 5 Reasons Why You Should Be!

I'm not normally a political type of person. I try to avoid conflict and I do my part to contribute to a better world by living by the Golden Rule. But sometimes, I'll see something that strikes me as so unfair that I just can't keep quiet. That's how I feel about the National Animal Identification System.

The first information I found was listed on the Arabian Horse Association site where it's no longer even listed. From the first time I read about it I was concerned and its hard for me to imagine that more people are not. I spent a lot of time reading and granted I've had to wade through some "stuff" looking for what's real over fanaticism but this system scares me.

Below are the link to the NAIS site itself and then 5 links to some pretty comprehensive information and concerns about its impact sprinkled, of course, with my two cents worth.

With the sweeping impact adaptation of the National Animal Identification System it's amazing that the topic is not buzzing all over the internet, being talked about at horse shows, chat rooms and horse associations across the country. Groups have been devising this plan for years and yet little is known about it by the majority of people who will be affected. and give an in depth look at the system and it's origins as well as poses important questions about the slippery slope its implementation puts us on with government controls.

Since this system is intent on eventually (total compliance by 2009) requiring the registration of all premises in possession of animals, and identification and tracking of all livestock in the United States including horses, the effects of this system will be far reaching and potentially devastating to the horse industry as we know it.

Aside from the obvious fact that the government requiring every animal owner to report directly to the USDA is just way too much like Big Brother for me, "the arguments against NAIS range from philosophical objections about property and privacy rights, to pragmatic concerns about cost and technological problems."
Read Life Under the Animal Identification System for an accurate looks at what is happening in states already enacting this system.

Survival Blog posts on the motivation behind the implementation of this system. While the government justifies the need stating the possibility of some horrendous disease spread some day, in actuality, is this an excuse to justify taking away more of our individual rights and who stands to gain from this the most.

Looking at the cost of just the identification, tagging, of the animals, as described by BeefStocker USA it's pretty easy to see the guy with all the money is the one that pays the least per head. That premise right there is enough to make me leery. Not to mention that just those costs are enough to put me, as a small Arabian horse breeding operation, right out of business. Not to mention the costs of tracking all of the movement of livestock and monitoring the system, all of which will be passed on down to the consumer. I can only imagine what the price of beef, lamb, poultry and other meats we consume will rise to.

If this doesn't scare you, it should! Since any and all premises or facilities including vets, hospitals, show facilities, farms and any other locations animals might be must be registered and monitored everyone in the horse industry big or small will be impacted. Costs at all of those places will rise because their costs of doing business will rise.

In addition the system has the authority without testing to eradicate any and all animals it deems to be a risk whether it be a single animal or an entire region's animals. Even the dog that attacks a human or another dog gets its day in court. There will be no authority but the FDA to decide the fate of your horses and mine. And there will be no remuneration if your animals are destroyed.

If we wish to continue enjoying our horses in the manner we have become accustomed the National Animal Identification System needs to be stopped. Please read the information carefully, send on to all your contacts and friends and anyone who loves horses or any kind of the 26 species of livestock on this list. Contact your state and national congressmen and senators and tell them to stop the National Animal Identification System and the USDA now. is a group of activists organized to stop the NAIS for more information on how you can help. The impact of the National Animal Identification System will be devastating if left unchecked.


  1. I read your post about animal identification. I am getting old and I have some health problems. So when I walk around our block I put on my "dog tags" like those I wore when in the army, except these have my name and address and a phone number on them so if I fall or lose my mind at least people will be able to discover who I am.

    I came over to thank you for stopping at my blog and for commenting about the raccoon and your experiences with raising them.

    Abraham Lincoln

  2. The anti-NAIS community on the Internet IS all a buzz and has been for some 2 years now. Glad to see someone else has woken up!

    If I could make a correction, the FDA has nothing to do with NAIS, it is USDA/APHIS/NIAA who are the henchmen.

    As it stands now, the USDA has said numerous times that "NAIS is voluntary at the Federal level" but all that has done is foisted the responsibility onto the states. There are maybe 11 states with anti-NAIS bills in the legislatures with various amendments that weaken the original bill.

    Another correction, is the center for anti-NAIS activists. There is a wealth of information there as well as a list of all the state specific anti-NAIS list groups on Yahoo.

    I guess you only just found out about NAIS. There are thousands of us who have been working hard for 2 years to stop NAIS. I hope you will join us.

  3. I've read a little about this last year and did not realize all that it implied. I think it is an invasion of privacy and rights and costs always seems to fall on those of us who work for living. Keeping us just under the thumb of the government. I certainly will read more about it.

  4. I've gone to the sites you've suggested. This government bureaucracy gone MAD! I live in Wisconsin and there is a meeting against it in the state capital on the 25th. I plan on going.

  5. Thank you for shedding light on this important issue. This bad news not only for those of us in the horse industry but for every small farm left in the United States.
    What I find most disgusting about the prospect of NAIS is the obvious advantage it gives to factory farms. The amount of the fees per head of cattle in the thousands much less than in the hundreds... I can only imagine the salivation of the Corporate Agriculture business at the prospect of running the rest of the little guys out of town.

    That is exactly what we need America... More feedlots with cruel animal practices, unsanitary conditions and nasty food. Not to mention those of us who have horses not livestock (which last time I checked were not in the business of spreading disease to humans) have to absorb the cost of this absurd government program as well. Why does anyone need to know where my damn horses are or where I am for that matter.

    Ok :) I'll stop now... Thank you again Mikael for writing about this and joining the rest of the freedom loving among us in the fight to stop the NAIS.

  6. Hi MiKael

    I have heard snippets about this over the past two years but never enough to get me worried. Now I am worried. This should be all over the news, strange how we dont see more reports on it on like 60 minutes or such like programs. I think it is a violation of human rights. Talk about Big Brother this is rediculous. Horses dont carry diseases that threaten humans??? Okay if there was ever an outbreak of Foot (Hoof) and Mouth then the movement of horses could be a problem I suppose because they could carry the disease on their bodies (mud from the farm). I think it should get more media attention. I used to watch RFDTV and dont remember seeing anything about it even on that channel, but I can't watch it anymore as they have made it a subscription channel and I don't intend upgrading my dish network just for that.

    Man this has made me mad. Thanks for bringing up.


  7. Thanks for posting about NAIS, MiKael. It is indeed a total invasion of our rights as citizens, and what is worse is that the government tries to sell it as being "good for disease prevention." (!?!)

    Unless they plan on getting rid of ALL nondomestic/feral/wild animals, (not feasible oviously) I don't see how it would be possible to have anything remotely like a true 48-hour traceback for disease outbreaks!

    Not to mention that mad cow disease, the disease usually used as a "club" to scare people with, is quite simple to eradicate - just stop feeding meat and animal byproducts to cows! The LAST thing our country's agriculture needs is more regulation - the only way to have a secure food supply is decentralization and sustainable growing practices, like Joel Salatin or Walter Jeffries from do.

    The last few months have seen real progress in the fight to get rid of the NAIS threat, so we need to keep it up and finish the job! :-D

  8. I will have to read more. I saw a NAIS booth at The Mane Event and thought it was just a micro-chip for your horse. I should have looked further. I can understand why they would want to track animals that are food sources, but it seems crazy to track the average horse owner.

  9. I've just received the May issue of Horse and Rider today and low and behold an interesting article in it downplaying the NAIS. Interesting reading.

  10. Mikeal, thanks for posting about NAIS. In addition to the links you provided, folks may want to check out: - a site for coordinating anti-NAIS efforts in states across the country - Rural Heritage, a magazine dedicated to working horses, has published a lot of articles about NAIS - an article by Heather Smith Thomas on NAIS, horses, and microchips - check out the articles section and the Take Action section for information and tools people can use to fight NAIS

  11. Had a pleasant chat with a very nice lady at FoodLogiQ a company that tracks veggies from farm to store AND cattle in Wisconsin and Canada…I asked did they have plans to include home gardens as they could be a source of pathogenic contamination —she said no that would be too intrusive, too much trouble on their part and logistically impossible and there would be a huge outrage from the people. In other words it just could not be done!
    I asked but what if salmonella or other pathogen from a private garden somehow got on the produce that would eventually go to the factories for canning, freezing or just to any grocery store…her reply was the factories are rigidly controlled to prevent that kind of stuff and the TRACEBACK WOULD BE JUST TO THE INFECTED PRODUCE THAT CAME FROM THE FIELDS (regardless of how they were infected) NOT THE PRIVATE GARDEN FROM WHICH THE ACTUAL INFECTION MAY HAVE COME FROM!!!
    And from this past few months we have experienced how stringent these factories truly are when it comes to tainted food (i.e. peanuts)
    so I asked her if the govt knowing about every privately home grown tomato or cucumber was too intrusive AND UNWORKABLE then why does the same argument not hold for privately owned cattle, goats,
    pigs, ponies, chickens, etc when it comes to NAIS.
    She agreed with me.