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Media Contact: Terry Rothwell (308) 458-2758

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 12 2008


Governor Heineman Signs Voluntary Animal ID Bill into Law

Lincoln – After final approval of LB632 by the Nebraska legislature on Thursday of last week the bill was signed into law by the Governor.

Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) was instrumental in drafting and lobbying the bill and were on hand to witness the event.

Sen. Cap Dierks of Ewing sponsored and introduced the legislation that will keep the State from mandating a Premise ID or Animal ID program, within the standards and guidelines of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and also provide clarification of the process for those who would wish to be withdrawn from the State, Regional and National Premise ID databases that are currently in use.

Senators voted 45-0-4 to support livestock producers who have voiced their concerns with the possibility of being forced into a system that could prove too costly and labor intensive for them to stay in business.

“This is a great day for Nebraska’s independent livestock producers” said Chris Abbott, president of the cattlemen's group.

“We have demonstrated that when important issues like this come up, ICON has the network and the people in place to influence the outcome in a positive fashion. “

LB632 was supported by several agriculture groups, including Farm Bureau, Farmer’s Union, Vetrinary Medicine Association, Livestock Marketing Association and Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE). Opposition to the bill was presented by Nebraska Cattlemen and NE Pork Producers Association.

The original Statute, authorizing the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to develop and implement a registration system, became law in 2006 within the framework of LB856, which addressed concerns on how to prevent Avian Flu in the Poultry sector, among other issues. The premise registration program “Locate-in-48” was immediately initialized and implemented by the Department in an effort to get as many livestock producers registered as possible.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has repeatedly stated that the national animal identification program is “voluntary at the federal level”, but continues to fund States through Cooperative Agreements. This funding is used to promote and encourage premise and animal ID registration by livestock producers. It is contingent on progress towards the goal of complete registration and implementation by 2009 within the timelines and standards of the national system. Nebraska has registered about half of all livestock premises, to date.

Louis Day of Valentine and ICON Regional Director had praise for the Senators and the process. “Advancing this bill by a unanimous vote indicates the concern for individual rights and freedoms held by our legislators. We want to thank the Senators for their support, and we look forward to working on future legislation that is important to independent producers across the State.”

Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska recently testified in favor of LB1174, a bill that would re-instate the safeguards of I-300 and provide stability in Nebraska’s future in family farming & ranching.




"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."