Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NAIS - a really bad idea

The government's latest desire is to be able to track every farm animal in America by microchipping them, down to the backyard chicken owner. This is a really, really bad idea. And it is going to exacerbate peak oil issues.

The cost of having your animals registered and microchipped is going to be a big deterrent for those who raise meat only for themselves, or sell on a very small scale. Most people who raise a few chickens for their dinner and for sale barely break even on the deal - we do it because it gets us better, safer food than other methods, and, if we're lucky, it might make a tiny profit.

Well, kiss your profit goodbye - it will be eaten by vet bills (my chickens don't ordinarily need vets, but NAIS will require I use them to microchip each bird), fines (if, G-d forbid, you don't tag that lamb fast enough) and fees.

This is not an issue for large scale producers, who are already required to keep these records - this is a stab at backyard producers, many of whom are going to go out of business. So your food is going to come from further away, and cost more.

Moreover, this is a lousy idea for another reason - after surpassing the national debt ceiling, we're going to be creating another enormous, stupid, inefficient administrative entity?

And most of all, it is going to be hard enough, in times to come, to convince people that they need to put a few chickens in their backyard. How do we do it now?

Write your congresspeople. Tell them No on NAIS



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