FROM: INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA, Box
241, Hyannis, NE 69350 Phone: 308-282-2826
Media Contact: Terry Rothwell, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Feb 12, 2007
Independent Cattlemen want
changes to Nebraskas Animal ID
NE If animal ID is to be voluntary, there has to be a way for
livestock owners to opt-out of the program, according to Independent
Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON).
In December, the USDA officially announced that the long-debated National
Animal Identification System would be strictly voluntary at the Federal
However, complaints have arisen in several states, including Nebraska,
from livestock producers who say that their premises have been registered
without their knowledge, ICON spokesperson, Terry Rothwell said. The
United States Department of Agriculture has no provision for removing
a premise once it has been registered.
To clarify the situation and make the states program clearly voluntary,
Sen. Cap Dierks, District 40, has introduced LB 632 in the Nebraska
Legislature to provide for voluntary participation in NAIS and the states
components of the program.
The bill states that the Nebraska Department of Agriculture shall develop
and facilitate a process of withdrawal of premise registration, as well
as safeguard confidential business information.
Recently, an official for the USDA said that department now supports
an opt-out procedure. Andrea McNally of the USDAs
APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) told Brownfield Network
that since national animal ID is strictly voluntary, producers should
be allowed to stop participating at their discretion.
On the other hand, APHIS, funds have been offered to encourage states
to make the program mandatory.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture was recently awarded $672,000
in federal funding after approval of a NAIS implementation plan was
developed and submitted by NE State Veterinarian Dennis Hughes. Additional
state funds will be used to promote and encourage livestock owners to
sign up premises.
And, a 2007 cooperative agreement between USDA and the NDA calls for
full NAIS participation in Nebraska by 2009.
ICON objects to mandated animal identification.
Our membership voted overwhelmingly against a mandatory National
animal identification program and supports the existing identification
system currently in place, Rothwell went on to say, No cost
analysis has been done on NAIS and there are major technological, logistical
and economic problems that still need to be addressed.
With the 2007 legislative session in full swing, the Independent Cattlemen
of Nebraska are monitoring the progress of several bills.
LB632 is scheduled for a hearing in the Agriculture Committee at 1:30
CT on Feb. 20, Nebraska State Capitol Building, Room 1524.
The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska is a non-profit group working
to represent independent cattle producers, without the influence of
other industry sectors, while securing a viable livelihood for present
and future generations.