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Sunday, November 2, 2008

NAIS to Become Mandatory?


A new memo out of USDA shows they are pushing ahead with NAIS despite
the public protests and even state laws barring mandatory programs.

USDA recently issued a memo to its â?oVeterinary Services Management
Team� that requires NAIS premises registration for various disease
program activities. (Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 575.19, posted
at ) The memo
includes activities such as vaccinations, testing, and applying official
ear tags, for programs for every livestock species, ranging from
brucellosis to scrapies to equine infectious anemia. One of the most
important aspects of this memo is that people who refuse to have their
farms registered will be registered against their will. Thus, USDA has
officially abandoned the supposed â?ovoluntaryâ? nature of NAIS. Now
animal owners who take government-required steps, such as testing and
vaccinating their animals, may find themselves enrolled in the NAIS
premises registration database with or without their consent.


The USDAs action means we have to continue and redouble our efforts
to educate state and federal legislators about the problems with NAIS,
so that they put a halt to the agenciesâ?T continued implementation.
Take a few moments to call your Congressman today! Go to for information on how to contact
your legislators and materials to help.

Its also critical to get more state laws passed stopping NAIS. Stay
tuned for more information on bills for the 2009 legislative session!

Four states already have laws that forbid their state agencies from
mandating NAIS: Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri and Nebraska. Below is a
letter from Senator Karen Johnson, who sponsored the Arizona bill, to
the Arizona Department of Agriculture, in response to the USDAâ?Ts memo.
Ask your state legislator to take a stand like Senator Johnson!


USDA has failed to follow any of the administrative procedures required
to create enforceable regulations when it issued this new step in NAIS.
So whether USDA can actually enforce it isnâ?Tt clear. On the other
hand, USDA has created the entire NAIS program without regard to
following the rules administrative agencies must follow, so itâ?Ts
likely that the state agencies will automatically follow the USDAâ?Ts
memo. Here are some excerpts from the memo:

USDA is requiring NAIS premises registration â?oas the sole and standard
location identifier� for activities relating to any disease regulated
through the Code of Federal Regulations, for emerging or re-emerging
disease, and for foreign animal diseases (page 1, Section II & III.A.1)

People who refuse to voluntarily register their properties in NAIS will
be registered against their will: â?oIf the person responsible for the
premises chooses not to complete the form to register his/her premises,
either the animal health official or an accredited veterinarian will
collect the defined data fields.� (page 2, Section III.B.2)

The memo applies to federal animal health authorities, state animal
health authorities, and private veterinarians who are accredited for
federally regulated diseases (page 1, Section I)

Any veterinarian who is accredited for a federally regulated disease is
subject to the USDAâ?Ts edict to involuntarily register his or her
clients: â?oA PIN is required for activities performed at a premises by
a State or Federal animal health authority or an accredited veterinarian
for any disease that is regulated through Title 9 of the Code of Federal
Regulations.� (page 4)

The listed disease programs for which a PIN will be required include:

Johnes disease
Chronic Wasting Disease
Low pathogenic Avian Influenza of the H5/H7 strains
Communicable diseases in horses, asses, ponies, mules, and zebras, which
would include equine Infectious Anemia
Texas (splenetic) fever in cattle
Scabies in cattle
Exotic Newcastle disease and chlamydiosis
Poultry health as addressed in the National Poultry Improvement Plan
Swine Health

The activities that will result in being registered in NAIS include:

Diagnostic tests
Certifications (other than certificates of veterinary inspection)
Application of official eartags or backtags (page 5)

USDA states that PINTs are not required for participation in
voluntary programs,but does not explain which those would be (p.6)

The full memo is posted at: Click on title above to see;



State Senator
FortyEightth Legislature
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2890

PHONE (602) 926-3160
TOLL FREE 1-800-352-8404
FAX (602) 926-3429

Education Chairman
Natural Resources

October 31, 2008

Mr. Donald Butler, Director
Arizona State Dept. of Agriculture
1688 West Adams Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Dear Director Butler:

During the 2007 legislative session, I sponsored a bill (SB1428) that
prohibits forced participation in the National Animal ID System (NAIS)
in Arizona. Governor Napolitano signed that bill and it has been the
law now for more than a year. (See ARS 3-1207 and ARS 3-1214).

I recently received a copy of a Memorandum (attached) issued by the U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture which indicates that veterinarians who visit a
property are to collect the defined data fields in order to assign
a PIN, as defined in the National Animal Identification System
Program Standards.This pin is to be the location identifier for all
Veterinary Services disease program activities and according to the
memo must be assigned, with or without the consent of the property

Im sending a letter to Attorney General Terry Goddard asking him to
intervene with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in this matter. I expect
the law to be enforced in the spirit intended when it was drafted.

I would like to know how you intend to deal with this, since we have a
law in place that prohibits forced participation in NAIS? I should tell
you that I have been contacted by various Arizona residents telling me
that they are being forced into premise registration, especially the
cattlemen. I am calling on you to do everything in your power to see
that this law is respected and that animal owners in Arizona are not
compelled to â?oregisterâ? their property in a government data base.
Please advise me on how you plan to handle this.

I look forward to hearing from you in a timely manner.

Best regards,

Senator Karen S. Johnson

cc: Attorney General Terry Goddard




We need everyone to speak out against the USDAâ?Ts continued forcible
implementation of NAIS! Put flyers out at your local sales barn and
feed store, write letters to the editor of your newspaper, or host a
public meeting in your area about NAIS! The USDA is relying on secrecy
and apathy to push NAIS through, so it is up to all of us to work
together to bring it out into the open and fight it.

Go to for more information and tools to help in this

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