9 August 2009 - Here are Shared Thoughts on Animal ID

A few weeks ago, on Samuelson Sez, I expressed my support for a National Animal Identification Program and then asked you to share with me, one reason why you are for or against the program. Thank you for your response, and I will say more of you are against than in favor. But as promised, here are some of your words...

"NO, NO, NO. Orion, we do NOT NEED THE GOVERNMENT trying to run any part of our cattle or agribusiness! They cannot run their own ‘business', why would we want to give them any more information about our business or private information than they already have."

Another e-mail.... ‘When confronted with the issue of a mandatory animal ID system I can only say this. I am not sure I want the federal government to be in charge of a mandatory system, as it could grow into an ‘unsatisfactory', ‘ineffective' and possibly damaging bureaucracy for the American ag producer."

From another listener.... "I wholeheartedly support voluntary ID. I have a premise number and am a BQA certified ranch; however most producers are already swamped with red tape and high taxes, and any threat to their privacy or more bureaucracy forced on them would cause most to just give up and quit."

From another reader... "Plainly speaking, I will say you are a spokesman for Corporate America, not the family farm or ranch. I'm no dummy, as I know they are the same people that pay your way. Thanks to people like you and politicians who are controlled by the Corporate Interests we are headed down the road to socialism."

Another listener... "The pluses I see are: #1 - Protecting the public health and #2 - Increased sales to foreign countries.

The marketing should be similar to organic farming. It costs the producer a couple of dollars per animal and is a little more labor-intensive, but the consumer would pay a little more for the quality and protection just like they do for organic foods."

This response from a rancher - "I am totally opposed to any kind of animal ID program. Animal ID is a worthless cost to the U.S. producer to satisfy artificial trade barriers imposed by foreign countries such as Korea. The U.S. should stop importing cattle from any other country and only sell to those that do not dictate terms that affect our operations."

And finally, the briefest answer of all from a listener against ID... "privacy, pure and simple".

Again, thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts with me and now, as promised, I've shared some of them with you on...

Samuelson Sez.