Friday, February 6, 2009

Have You Heard of This?

I came across a cool blog and as I was reading some of her posts I came across one that mentioned something called NAIS. She is anti - NAIS which aroused my curiosity so I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what it was.

NAIS apparently stands for National Animal Identification System.

Sounds harmless enough. Unless you’re like me and never like the sound of a “national” identification system of any kind. Aside from drivers licenses we don’t need to be identified and tracked like cattle. Which is what this program wants for animals - a way to track them from birth to death and everywhere in between.

I am not a fan of the government tracking us or our animals for our “own good.” The premise behind this law appears to be the government’s way of preventing disease or at least discovering where they start. At least that is the excuse they are using.

Just like the issues with the Consumer Protection Act passed last year, the unintended consequences are rarely thought about by the politicians, who aren’t even affected by such laws. Thankfully, that law got a stay for another year so children’s clothing and items are okay for now, but who knows what will happen in this year.

The unintended consequences of the NAIS, to me, appear to be a massive overreach of government into personal lives. This country used to be much more free. People had the freedom to do as they wished with their land, their livestock, their businesses.

While some regulations are good and I have no problems with, this kind of system reeks of big brother. It does not just track the animals, but the people and their movement. It affects not just huge farms, but hobbyists and small businesses (just like with the CSPIA).

Even though USDA is advocating this program, the government has not done a cost analysis of the program. Costs for similar programs in other countries are estimated to range from $37/head to $69/head on average. With over a hundred million cattle and millions of other livestock animals in the United States, the NAIS will likely cost producers, businesses, and taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

Unintended consequences.

All in the name to “protect” us … usually from ourselves.

I cannot tell from reading whether this law will someday apply to companion animals like cats and dogs. My dogs are microchipped, but it was a voluntary decision, not mandated by law. I do not want the government coming in telling me that I *must* do something like the NAIS proposes.

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