National Animal ID Run Amok

by: Cheryl M. Eggers
Updated February 12, 2006

The USDA has a new program coming to a state near you. South Dakota has begun and so far the program is voluntary. Wisconsin’s program is not. As of Jan. 1, if you have even one animal on your premises and are not registered, you would be subject to a $5000 fine.

The plan is to register every property where even one ‘livestock’ animal is kept, 90 year old grandma with 4 chickens included. The additionally, each animal which ever leaves it’s place of origin (Grandma takes her chicken to the fair, or one gets out and visit’s the neighbor) would have a personal id tag/number. If you have a large enough operation, you can do a lot number for herds of say chickens.

This is how my life would have looked if the proposed regulations would have been in place in 2005. Don’t worry; they won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2008. Then this too could be you.

Life Under the Animal ID System

"Along about March of 2005 my brother and his wife moved to town and gave us 3 hens as pets for the kids. He had to file 2 sets of paperwork, one to notify the government of where the hens were and one to notify them that <a href="", "their premises" was no longer keeping animals as they were moving to town.
Total forms – 4

I, within 24 hours, had to file 2 sets of paperwork, one to obtain a premises identification number, giving name, social security number, address, and GPS number with the state and feds. I had to file 3 forms for the hens.
Total forms – 4

Then my husband said, if you have to be here to feed 3 hens, why not get a few more. So we went in with the neighbors and ordered 100 chickens. They then had to file 1 form setting up a premises and 50 forms for owning the chicks + 50 forms since they would be ‘off premises’ boarding at my house. We had to file 50 forms reporting our 50 new chicks.
Total forms – 151

Four of the chicks died in the first week, I had to file 3 incident reports, my neighbor had to file 1.
Total forms – 4

In May, it was Mandy’s 8th birthday and all she wanted for her birthday was a pretty little kid named Snowflake, so we went a little flakey and got Snowflake and a nanny named Carmen, needed to file 2 forms. Carmen didn’t work out, though she was a beautiful goat she was terrified of children and one day tried to run away taking Snowflake with her and I had to file 2 incident reports. So she went to live with a neighbor and we traded for a new nanny named Paige. Both the neighbor and I had to file 2 reports each, one for the goat going, one for the goat coming. Paige is a sweetheart. I only had to lift her into the stanchion 3 times before she decided to do it all by herself.

My neighbor asked if we could let our goats come over to help with weed control, they did that for about 2 weeks. (14 incident reports X2 goats). We were getting almost a gallon of milk a day before we dried her off to go ‘visiting’ (both the neighbor and I had to fill out incident reports – 4). She did get out of the yard 3 times (3 incident reports X 2) and enjoyed going for walks with us once a week all summer (12 incident reports X 2) We are now hoping for triplets in the spring. The goats came home in November, requiring another 4 reports.
Total forms – 74

Then one day I got a call in town, the neighbor’s dogs had gotten into my chickens. I came home to find dead chickens all over my property and scattered down the road. We were devastated and filled the incident reports. 8 for the dead chickens and 4 for the ones that left the property.
Total forms – 12

My dog thought what they had done looked like fun, so began killing chickens too. So far she has killed 8. Resulting in 8 reports for dead chickens and 2 for the two she tried to hide in the woods as they left the premises.
Total forms – 10

On Labor day weekend, the neighbors came over and we killed 57 chickens. Dividing the paper work, we still had to file 57 forms between us.
Total forms – 57

One of my chickens liked my neighbor. Every day she would make a beeline for his barnyard (he gives trail r ides, forms went in for each time the horses left and returned). I had to file 1 report for her leaving and one for coming every day. Oh we tried to keep her home, but she was a little escape artist! 90 forms X 2 = 180 for that one chicken.
Total forms – 180

I had 3 chickens die for no apparent reason or from injury from other chickens, or one punctured himself on a wire.
Total forms – 3

This year we have filed 499 reports, tagged all animals, purchased the equipment and software to do this and it hasn’t even been 12 months since we started. All we wanted to do was have a few animals to teach the kids a little about responsibility and grow some of our own food."

Imagine getting THAT for a Christmas letter?

Life under NAIS is for the birds!

More Information

Here are links so you can go check it out for yourself. Is this the America you want?