by Lynn Miller
Under many guises, titles, mutations, and bill-riders continues the evidence that architects of a mandatory animal identification system just will not give it up. Here at the SFJ offices we have received word via press releases and frightened readers of myriad insanities all pressed forward under the toga of food safety and traceability in livestock production. There is even word that the USDA is feeling the need to formally and legally end the recognition of hot branding of cattle in preference for ‘ear tags’ and micro chips. You can guess how that is going over across ranch-lands. Follow the money trail and it has long been easy to see that a couple of companies stand to make a fortune if we farmers and ranchers are required to purchase specialty identification markers and equipment. And these things will not prevent food-born illness nor will they clearly and regularly point out culpability. In our current system many if not most of the meat animals change hands several times before appearing in pieces on the dining table. The lion’s share of food safety issues come from processing, storage and shipping where traceability becomes difficult if not impossible.
National Animal Identification Systems will not work and should not be implemented.