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An Amish farmer, Emanuel Miller Jr., in Wisconsin has won a court case against the state’s animal registration law. The 2005 state law requiring livestock owners to register the location, number and type of animals owned (a law that was a precursor to the larger animal tagging scheme promoted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture). “Some Amish and others say such a numbering system would amount to the ‘mark of the beast,’ which is referenced in the Book of Revelation as being related to Satan,” wrote Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Vielmetti. “Clark County Circuit Judge Jon Counsell ruled that the state failed to show how mandatory registration furthers animal health and food safety any more effectively than alternatives that would not affect Miller’s religious freedom.” 

Miller argued that animal registration would put the government before God and bring him into the modern wordk. Miller said he would be shunned by his church. The state is expected to appeal the ruling. State officials say their program is only for disease traceability and that no animal numbers are ever recorded.

Also, this morning the New York Times reported on the front of its business section that rising prices for seed have resulted in an antitrust investigation of that business and, especially, Monsanto. The story precedes a hearing Friday in Ankeny, Iowa, on concentration in various agriculture sectors. 

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