The Memsahib on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

The USDA and the Agrobiz giants have been crafting a national animal identification scheme that threatens the traditional freedom of self sufficiency, the privacy of Americans, and the livelihood of organic farmers, and family farms. The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is the creation of the Agrobiz giants Monsanto, Cargill Meat, National Pork Producers, and others to monopolize American food production using fear tactics to advance their agenda. The NAIS scheme was not created by any act of congress. Rather, it is merely a presumptuous bureaucratic dictate.

The NAIS plan requires two types of mandatory registration for everyone who owns even just one “livestock” animal. Every person who owns even just one horse, donkey, chicken, pigeon, goat, llama, sheep, pig, cow, alpaca, duck, farmed fish, etc. must register their name, home address, telephone number and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of their home in a Federal database.  Secondly, in order for any animal to leave its birth farm, the owner will be required to obtain a Federal ID number for it which will be kept in a national data base and have the animal biochipped. Animals will have to be registered if they leave the farm for any reason; to go on a trail ride, to go to a show or fair, to be bought or sold, to be bred by a stud on another farm, or to be taken to the local butcher, or anywhere else. The most likely type of ID will be a bio-microchip containing a low power radio transmitter so that the chips can be read from a distance. NAIS would allow “industry” to decide if retinal scans and DNA samples would also be required. Of course large scale Agrobiz has exempted itself from individual identification. (Agrobiz producers will be allowed to use one ID number for groups of hundreds or even thousands of animals that are raised and processed together.)
Americans will be required to report every time an animal enters or leaves their property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if an animal is missing. Such events must be reported in 24 hours or owners would suffer an as yet unspecified penalty. Small family farms and organic farmers will be driven out of business by the costs of premises registration fees, individual animal ID fees, event reporting fees, electronic tags or chips, electronic readers, home computers, Internet access, phone service, and reporting software. According to the USDA’s plan all of these costs will be born by the animal owners.

NAIS might enhance Agrobiz’s export markets and allow tracing of animal movements to track disease outbreaks which is its stated goal. But it will not make the American consumer safer. The most common type of meat contamination in the United States is bacterial, such as E coli. and Listeria. It is not discovered until masses of people become ill. Since Agrobiz processes meat in huge packing plants with thousands of animals being slaughtered a day, NAIS is useless to determine if the contamination was from one animal, multiple animals, or unsanitary conditions at the packing plant itself. Contaminated meat from giant Agrobiz processor is sent to all 50 states endangering millions of consumers simultaneously. On the other hand family farms, organic farmers, and private citizens their animals in natural and healthy conditions because they are raising their animals for themselves and their neighbors’ tables. When they are driven out of the market, America’s food supply will become less safe not more so. The consolidation of America’s food supply by Agrobiz makes it more vulnerable to terrorists. As Americas meat industry becomes a giant monopoly where all meat is processed in a few giant packing plants then it becomes easier for terrorists to deliberately contaminate millions of pounds of meat in one attack.

I believe that many varieties of farm animals (not just rare breeds) will become extinct as individuals give up animal raising rather than submit to all the required fees and bureaucracy or agree to having their home pinpointed by satellite and their personal information put in a national database. The only animals that will survive will be those that Monsanto, Cargill and company deem the most profitable.

The USDA’s NAIS Timeline:

• July, 2005: All States capable of premises registration.
• July, 2005: Animal Identification Number system operational.
• April, 2007: Premises registration and animal identification “alerts”.
• January, 2008: Premises registration and animal identification required.
• January, 2009: Reporting of defined animal movements required; entire program becomes mandatory.

I urge you to take immediate action in fighting the implementation of NAIS. Widespread objection by Americans can still stop the implementation of NAIS or at least create exemptions for religious objectors, home breeders, and/or small scale farmers and ranchers.

Please e-mail this posting to everyone that you know. Contact breed associations, organic and sustainable farming groups, neighbors, and family and ask them to oppose NAIS. Ask them to organize letter writing campaigns to the USDA. Write to your Federal and state legislators. Oppose any state level implementation of NAIS. (Some states such as Wisconsin are already implementing NAIS registration and biochipping.)

In particular, the USDA’s planned issuance of a NAIS rule for public comment in July 2006 will be a crucial juncture. Regular updates on the status of NAIS will be posted at When the public comment period is open, submit an individual comment letter, strongly expressing your disapproval. Get involved, or our another piece of our precious liberty will slip away.

Web Sites:
USDA resource about NAIS.

Regular updates on the status of NAIS:

You can find contact information for Federal and state legislators at:  or

Special Thanks to Mary Zanoni, Ph.D. (e-mail: whose excellent article in the Jan./Feb. 2006 issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal alerted us to NAIS.