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Monday, April 14, 2008

Lawmakers May End Premises Registration

Think your call doesn't matter?

Make sure you tell everyone it is not a Premises you own, it's private property.

Across the state there have been groups and individuals calling their legislators and explaining why the 3 part National Animal Identification System is an invasion of their personal property and will not accomplish what USDA says is the intended purpose.
In Illinois, there was bi-partisan effort by legislators who understood the underlying concern with this program and they sponsored legislation on behalf of the people. Legislation to stop Part 1, which is the Premise ID numbering requirement passed in the House of Representatives unanimously.
An RFID tag and premise ID would NOT prevent disease. The small producer would NOT be the culprit because his animals are already traceable. But it would be the small producers who are put out of business. Extensive paperwork is already required to enter livestock at fairs and shows... the cost and mandates to implement NAIS is useless because it would only accomplish tracking animals already easily found. Large producers already keep extensive records on their herds.
NAIS would not help in the threat of terrorist infiltration to the food chain. Terrorists would target the large suppliers. The ones who benefit from NAIS will be big pharma, keepers of the data, and the supppliers of the chips and tags...and central control of your property. There have been reports of these implants causing cancer in the animal. It is NOT about food safety or herd protection.
Thanks to Attorney Judith McGeary from the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance for all her help and legal expertise in wording legislation to relieve the 4-H and FFA exhibitors from the Premise ID mandate.
Continue making calls to move this bill through the Senate. The latest report was that HB5776 needs to be moved out of Rules Committee....where a lot of Illinois bills are currently stuck.

Rules eased for fair exhibitors’ ID

Lawmakers may end premises registration

By Adriana colindres

Responding to the outcry over a new state rule about who may exhibit livestock and horses at Illinois fairs, legislators are considering lifting the mandate. In the meantime, the state Department of Agriculture has decided to ease the rule for now, making it voluntary. Advertisement

Late last year, the department announced that anyone wanting to show livestock or horses at state, county, 4-H or FFA fairs would have to provide a “premises identification number” specifying where the animal is usually kept.
Agency officials said the requirement would help them react more quickly to animal-disease outbreaks and pinpoint the locations of horses or livestock that might have come into contact with sick animals.

Obtaining a premises ID number requires filling out a questionnaire that asks for a facility’s name, address, phone number and the types of livestock raised. It doesn’t ask about acreage or herd or flock size.

Opponents say the rule is an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

“They (federal and state agriculture officials) already know where we are. They have our addresses,” Sam Zumwalt, a farmer in Hancock County, said Friday. “It’s total repetition and waste of money.”

Rep. Richard Myers, R-Colchester, and Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, are the main sponsors of House Bill 5776, which sailed through the House on a 108-0 vote earlier this month.

The measure, which still needs approval from the Senate and the governor, would prohibit the state from requiring premises registration unless the federal government makes it mandatory. The legislation also would permit people who have signed up for premises IDs to remove their names from the database.

Myers and Sullivan said they’ve heard from many constituents who are upset about “premises registration.”

“They felt the FFA and 4-H kids were being unfairly singled out because if the parents didn’t want to register the property, it would be the kids who suffer,” Myers said.

Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Paris Ervin said Friday the agency has decided the new rule will be voluntary for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Department officials also working with industry groups about premises registration “to come up with a plan that everyone is happy with,” Ervin said.

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