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Front Page » May 9, 2006 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Give up freedom for a little safety
Published 3,148 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Give up freedom for a little safety


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By BERT SMITH
Ruby Valley, Nev.

Editor,

We can't give up freedom for a little safety.

The USA is the most disease free country in the world. Our state veterinarians do a very good job to control, track and stop livestock disease at the state borders. Our veterinarians should be responsible to track the origins of all imported meat in our state. All imported meat must be electronically certified before entering our state. We do not need the National Animal Identification System tracking in the US.

I have a Nevada cattle ranch. When I get ready to sell my cattle to a feedlot, I must get a health inspection that certifies that the veterinarian and I guarantee they are healthy. I can't guarantee they won't get sick in the feedlot if co-mingled with other sick cattle, or in the packing house if meat is co-mingled with imported meat. Agribusiness wants a scapegoat to protect them from liability if an epidemic does break out.

The NAIS can arbitrarily fine me $1,000 per day for each animal if I don't sign up. If you have 10 head it would be $10,000 per day. The effect of the program is the transfer of the control of private property to the government, while forcing the property owner to pay to cost of the transfer with no due process of law. The Fourth Amendment secures to us protection against unreasonable searches and seizures in our persons, houses, papers and effects. If they force us to register our property and animals we do not own them, they control our private information and us. It is illegal to seize that information.

The experts have checked this law and find it in violation of State and Federal constitutions. It is an absolute law with excessive fines and punishment with no appeal. Livestock people can be fined for small record keeping mistakes, loss of ear tags and livestock containment. There will be thousands of special agents checking for violations. The world already accepts American meat products as having the highest safety standards. We do not need NAIS for our exporting. It is most obvious that big Agribusiness and USDA would sell out the freedom of America for a little more profit for manufactured meats and by-products. The export market is already anxious for all of the hides.

Each state has received $14.3 in grant money from the USDA to fund applications from the states to register premises with NAIS. It would be embarrassing for our national and state associations to sign up for this program.

The NAIS strikes at the foundation of the basic principle of our custom, culture and our God given rights of life, liberty and property.


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