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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat (above), has removed all the funds in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2010 budget to implement NAIS, the National Animal Identification System. NAIS would require that every farm animal be tagged. The proposal has stirred mass opposition in farm and ranch country. (See the Yonder’s latest story here. For more, just search above for NAIS.) DeLauro was able to excise the NAIS funding because she is chair of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
DeLauro noted that the USDA has received $142 million since 2004 to start NAIS, but has “yet to put into operation an effective system that would provide needed animal health and livestock market benefits.” DeLauro noted that USDA was currently conducting “listening sessions” about NAIS and that until these sessions ended and the USDA tells how it would implement an animal ID system, “continued investments into the current NAIS are unwarranted.”
This doesn’t mean NAIS is dead. Cattle Network says the “ball game just went into extra innings.” Right now, the politics of NAIS are cool. Rep. DeLauro “votes with the left-leaning caucus of her party,” notes Cattle Network. And “NAIS is a concept abhorred by small family farmers, about as conservative a group of people as you can find on the American political scene.” So the new hero for many rural Americans is a Connecticut Yankee. How about them apples?