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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

South Dakota Stockgrowers Angered By USDA-APHIS Letter

Hot News frum Big-Mouth Broad Castin; Dec. 10, 2008

South Dakota Stockgrowers are extremely upset and angered by a correspondence received yesterday by most of South Dakota’s livestock producers, from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), stating the use of the USDA 840 tag is “your Passport to Compliance” for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

According to South Dakota Stockgrower Animal ID Chairman Bill Kluck, Mud Butte, “this is not only misleading to livestock producers, but is deceitful and coercive.” There is absolutely no need for this 15 digit number, or any other USDA controlled number in order to comply with COOL.

In fact language was written into the COOL law prohibiting the use of the 15 digit National Animal Identification Number (NAIS) from being used for COOL Compliance.

Kluck also said “the brochure is asking producers to “Step up to the 840 ID Solution” which USDA-APHIS describes as a “standardized 15-digit numbering system to create the official animal identification number (AIN). Again, according to the brochure sent to producers, the “AINs, along with your Premises Identification Number (PIN), may be used on official paperwork”

Bill states that the “passport to COOL compliance” phrase used in the brochure is a backdoor attempt to lead producers to believe they have to obtain a PIN and NAIS number even though USDA-APHIS has repeatedly stated that the PIN and NAIS are not mandatory.

Included with the brochure is a 2 page premises registration form to be filled out and sent to the South Dakota Animal Industry Board in Pierre, SD.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, along with Chairman Kluck wants the producers of South Dakota to understand that this brochure is misleading, the premises registration does not have to be sent, and that as USDA-APHIS has continually said “this is a voluntary program”.

Bill’s closing thought “I wonder what part of voluntary I don’t understand?”

For more information call the SD Stockgrowers Office at 605-342-0429.

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