Feds Strike NAIS

Dakota Rural Action Applauds Ag Secretary’s Decision

For Immediate Release: 2/8/10

For More information Contact: Holly Waddell, Shadehill (605) 244-5475

Karen Englehart, Bison (605) 244-5402

Stephanie Trask, DRA (605) 718-4957

Dakota Rural Action Applauds Ag Secretary’s Decision

Last Friday, US. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA will kill its push for a National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

“I am happy Secretary Vilsack has scrapped the National Animal Identification System as it was proposed; a big Thank You to him and his staff for that action. I am encouraged by the attention paid to producers from all across the country who spoke out against the NAIS as being a very troublesome, expensive and intrusive program,” said Holly Waddell, chairperson of Dakota Rural Action.

Opposition to the program came from many sectors of the animal industry and culminated this past summer when the USDA held listening session across the country. At the listening session in Rapid City over 300 people attended and when supporters of NAIS were asked to stand up, only a handful of people responded.

“To those of us in the livestock business NAIS didn’t make sense from the beginning. This shows what you can accomplish when you stand your ground,” said Nick Trask, a Dakota Rural Action member from Wasta, SD.

Vilsack said he will look to the states and tribes for leadership in designing a system to track animals shipped across the country.

“Looking forward, Dakota Rural Action welcomes the opportunity to work with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, our State Veterinarian, Dr. Oedekoven, the SD Animal Industry Board and other SD livestock groups as a new approach to animal disease traceability begins to take shape. South Dakota and its neighbors all have a very strong history of successfully tracing movement of livestock, both within their own borders as well as across our borders. I think we have a lot to contribute toward developing a common sense animal disease traceability program,” Waddell said.

NAIS was billed as a food safety program. However, this claim seemed like a solution in search of a problem.

“Historically the programs that have been in place have worked efficiently and effectively under the direction and guidance of the states. There is no need for a Federal program that invades our privacy to conduct our business and compromises our property rights,” said Karen Englehart, a Dakota Rural Action member from Bison.