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CONTACT: Linda Wuebben, Communications Director, 402-357-3778 or CEO Louis Day, 402-376-1538

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 7, 2008


Letter to the Editor:

I started writing this on Veteran’s Day with the goal of recognizing no blood or moment of sacrifice by our soldiers was given in vain to protect a special list of individual vested and unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution written by the founding fathers with state help of Divine Intervention after prayer; protected by respected veterans now for over 200 years.

To appreciate that gift we must surrender some of those rights over to a non-elected agency, the USDA and APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) in the form of NAIS (National Animal Identification System).

I feel it is very important to state that myself and the organizations I belong to, R-CALF USA and Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON), want to have the safest, healthiest and best food supply possible. We have put both our time and money into trying to get USDA and APHIS to do their jobs by enforcing rules, regulations and using proven, successful programs already in place that protect our herds and livelihoods without sacrificing our rights.

The resistance of the USDA and APHIS to mandatory County-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) and their insistence to relax regulations and rules that protect against diseases (for example, BSE, foot and mouth disease) imported from foreign countries is well documented.

Their own Inspector General admits that most of the current bovine tuberculosis (TB) problem has come from imports. Failure to control TB and brucellosis (Bangs) in wildlife already under APHIS’ control must also be addressed.

Regarding NAIS, we must know exactly why, to what and to whom we are being asked to volunteer.

NAIS consists of four parts. The greatest concerns are your vested and unalienable rights, for when volunteering to register (enter) your premises (property) into a program (contract), you give those up. That action conveys authority to USDA-APHIS to potentially enforce the other parts of NAIS, which include the second part, identifying each animal; tracking (to locate in 48 hours you will have to report in 24) is part three; and the last part is enforcement If not reported within a timely manner or accurately, fines and/or penalties could result.

In all reality, NAIS can expand in any direction the controllers choose. NAIS, in USDA’s own words, is “an ever-evolving program.” The truth is when you volunteer for the first part; you give up the right to say ‘No’ to the rest.

From whom does NAIS come? Congress? NO. To the best of my knowledge, NAIS and forms of NAIS in other countries can be traced back to the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), which has ties to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The OIE goals for NAIS are the issues of traceability/product tracing and good farming practices they approve of. On page 41 of OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the set of rules to achieve these goals, it states, “The competent authority in partnership with relevant government agencies and the private sector should establish a legal framework for the implementation and enforcement of NAIS in the country.”

In the USA, the ‘competent authority’ is USDA and APHIS. The ‘relevant government agencies’ are the various state agencies that USDA can solicit to enter into signed cooperative agreements (contracts). The ‘private sector’ would be the companies and organizations who stand to profit from the tags, equipment, supplies and services forced upon the surviving producers once the ‘legal framework’ (volunteering to give up rights) is in place and enforced.

What I have just written is very serious and can be very far reaching to our future survival. In closing, what better way to give honor and thanks to our veterans for the time and blood sacrificed than using our vested rights to ask why, to what and to whom?

We truly have much to be thankful for,

Louis Day,
R-CALF USA Nebraska Membership Chair


Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska
"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."

The Mission of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) is to protect and promote the interests of Nebraska's
independent cattle producers. Office of the Organization is located in Hyannis, Nebraska and membership can be obtained by calling (308) 458-7282.