Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guns or Chickens?

  • "It is difficult to imagine any acceptable basis for the (USDA) to subject the owner of a chicken to more intrusive surveillance than the owner of a gun." -Mary Zanoni , Farm for Life

NAIS is on its way. Really is it the business of the national government to track how many chickens, goats, or pigs I keep. Do they need to know their birthdays and where they live (their PIN or Premises ID Number.) Is it really my responsibility to notify them (upon penalty of a large fine) if I give one chicken to a neighbor, I must tag it with a RFID chip and register the transfer with the government, the neighbor must register her own PIN and report her chicken activities to the government.

If an animal goes missing (ie, a hawk carries off a poor chicken or one escapes) you would be legally responsible for reporting it within 24 hours. Could the government tell me how I am supposed to get my 30 ladies to stand still for a daily headcount? Perhaps that is one of the reasons for RFID chips, that and GPS tracking...

OK people! I am not crazy. I do not think that the government is going to use global positioning satellites to track the movements of my chickens! But who knows what this technology and system could be used for in the future? There is much discussion that household pets are next.

The National Animal Identification System is coming down the pipe faster then anyone thought. I suppose a good time to push unpopular programs through is when people are "picking their battles" with larger issues... Slated for a hearing today in front of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.

Learn more here...

I am amazed that sometimes if I get into a deep discussion on local food with people and start to talk about my fears for the future of small farms in America the response is almost always "The government would never do that!" The problem is they are... When they cams for the raw milk we did nothing, when they came for the unpasteurized cider we did nothing, when they came for the farm processed beef we did nothing, what will yo do when they come for your tomato?

If you think this is bad wait until I tell you about HR 875 - The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Sounds nice and fuzzy huh? Safe & Modern? If half of what I am reading about this is true... I just printed out the 90 page bill, I will ATTEMPT to read it and post about that Monsanto driven monster tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

Could the NAIS be as a bad as you say? Yeah, it could, if the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is an indication. That Act requires that all goods intended for children be tested for lead and phthalates. Sounds reasonable, right?

Well, suppose you're a small businessperson who knits and sells a few dozen pairs of mittens for kids each year. For EACH color and batch of mittens, you'd have to test for lead and phthalates, even though the yarn you use is very unlikely to contain either. The cost for each test? About $150. Know what that means? You're out of business.

The poorly written Act also has the effect of requiring thrift stores, libraries and anyone else who provides/sells products for children to engage in expensive testing with little benefit--or risk criminal penalties and potentially massive lawsuits. For additional information, here is a press release from the Handmade Toy Alliance.

CSA Farmer Girl said...

Yeah... I talked about that earlier this year.

Here is the reality, outside of living in the Matrix or a bubble there is no way for the government to keep us safe.

WE have to keep ourselves safe... Use our brains and our hearts and make good decisions... Bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pointer--you said it better than I did!