Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jeffersonian Victory! NAIS Is De-Funded

Good news in the fight to save America's independent family farms. The Department of Agriculture has announced that the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) has had its funding stripped in the next federal budget.

We've discussed this program in the past. Its purpose was to tag literally every livestock animal in America with an electronic marker and monitor their movements. Ostensibly intended to help prevent the outbreak of cattle disease, it representated a massive intrusion of federal power into areas where it had no constitutional authority. The giant agribusiness corporations loved the idea, as the additional costs to them would be more than made up for by additional profits from overseas sales. But organizations representing independent ranchers were furious, especially because the cost of the program would fall to them and would have been about two dollars per animal. Indeed, many small ranchers believed that a main motivation for the inception of the program was the desire by the agribusiness corporations to drive small-scale operators out of business.

The announcement that this program will not be pursued is wonderful news and something that all 21st Century Jeffersonians should applaud.

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