DownsizeDC.org
January 27, 2009
From "Voluntary" to Mandatory
By James Wilson

Media Alert! Jim Babka will appear on the Liberty Roundtable tomorrow morning. See the Postscript for details.

Quote of the Day: "The USDA claims it needs to be able to move fast in case of an outbreak of disease. At first blush it sure sounds fine and good, until you consider that people are in the middle of a major epidemic on US dairy farms, and the USDA hasn't moved at all to stop it." - Jerri Cook

Subject: From "Voluntary" to Mandatory

Johne's disease is a contagious infection of the small intestine of hoofed animals.

Moreover, the USDA's 2009 budget . . .

  • Slashes the already miniscule funding for Johne's disease eradication 
  •  While increasing funding for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

The rationale for NAIS is that it will better protect America's food supply. But at what cost?

  • More government surveillance powers
  • More expense for ranchers, farmers, and exotic pet owners
  • Less freedom and privacy: If one calf briefly strays, a report must be filed. If a horse-owner goes for a trail ride, a report must be filed.
  • NAIS is supposed to control disease outbreaks, but it does so at the expense of disease eradication programs.

No wonder the people aren't buying it. NAIS was introduced four years ago as a "voluntary" program, but the lack of "volunteers" has the USDA playing hardball. It's proposing rule APHIS-2007-0096 that would . . .

  • Require participants in other USDA disease control programs to adopt a NAIS Premise ID number
  • Phase in a requirement that newborn livestock be issued eartags under a uniform NAIS numbering system

Our assumption that this "voluntary" program would be made mandatory was a big reason DownsizeDC.org launched its anti-NAIS campaign three years ago.

Please join us in fighting this bureaucratic over-reach.

  • Tell Congress to abolish NAIS
  • Remind them that Congress never approved NAIS in the first place, but Congress does have the power to de-fund the program
  • You can also note that NAIS funding is being increased while Johne's Disease eradication programs are being cut. This undermines the rationale for NAIS
  • Make your representatives aware that NAIS is one step closer to being mandatory.

You can send your message using our Educate the Powerful System.

Please also take an extra step. Strike at the root of the mischief-making powers of unelected bureaucrats. Tell Congress to pass DownsizeDC.org's Write the Laws Act.

Thank-you for helping us Downsize DC!

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. DownsizeDC.org President Jim Babka will be on Liberty Roundtable, with Sam Bushman & Friends, just after 9 AM Eastern (8 AM Central, 7 AM Mountain, 6 AM Pacific) on Wednesday morning (Jan. 28). The show is heard on several stations, but the best way to listen is online at http://www.accentradionetwork.com/chooseplayer.htm

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