Liberty Ark Coalition

Fighting to Stop the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)


Missouri Department of Agriculture
Animal Health Division

Missouri

Liberty Ark State Coordinator
Want to get involved?

Liberty Ark Supporters in Missouri

Missouri Bill Passes

On Thursday, the Missouri Legislature passed SB 931, an omnibus agriculture bill that includes an anti-NAIS provision!

Section 267.l68 of SB 931 states:

267.168.

1. The state of Missouri may support a voluntary animal identification program. The department of agriculture shall not mandate or otherwise force national animal identification system (NAIS) premises registration without specific statutory authorization from the Missouri general assembly.

2. Any person who participates in the national animal identification system may withdraw from the system at any time. All personal information relating to a participant shall be deleted from the system when the participant withdraws, unless the participant is part of an ongoing disease investigation or disease monitoring or control program.

3. If the provisions of this section interfere with the marketing of Missouri livestock, the governor by executive order may waive the provisions of this section in whole or in part until the Missouri general assembly takes action to reinstate or modify the provisions of this section.

Many thanks and congratulations to all of the people in Missouri who worked so hard to make this happen! Special thanks to Ray Cunio, Russell Wood, Doreen Hannes, Bob Parker and the others who have worked tirelessly in this fight. The bill contains some loopholes, so the fight is not over. But this is an important step.

The Governor is expected to sign SB 931 without any problem. This will make four states that have adopted statutes rejecting a mandatory NAIS!


Missouri legislators have introduced several bills in both the House and the Senate to limit or stop NAIS. One of them, SB 931, was passed by the Senate on February 19, 2008, and has now gone to the House. It has not been assigned to a committee yet, and word is that it won't be for a couple of weeks.

The committee approved a substitute of SB 931 which is much shorter than the original bill. It now states:

267.168. 1. The state of Missouri may support a voluntary animal identification program, subject to appropriation. The department of agriculture shall not mandate or otherwise force national animal identification system (NAIS) premises registration without specific statutory authorization from the Missouri general assembly.
2. Any person who participates in the national animal identification system may withdraw from the system at any time. All personal information relating to a participant shall be deleted from the system when the participant withdraws, unless the participant is part of an ongoing disease investigation.

This bill is not as strong as previous bills, and does not include explicit protections against coercion. But it is a positive step. The pro-NAIS organizations oppose the bill, so the legislators need to hear from the grassroots!

Take Action

SB 931 has not yet been assigned to a committee in the House. As soon as it is, we will post the members of the committee.

1) Contact the Governor:

Office of the Governor
Room 216, State Capitol Building
Jefferson City MO 65101
Telephone:

For the website contact form, click .

2) Contact your Representative. If you don't know who they are, click here.

Message: "I want you to support SB 931and stop NAIS in Missouri." Then you can talk about the reasons NAIS should be stopped and this bill should be passed.

If you have a few minutes, ask to speak to the staffer who handles agricultural issues. Have a discussion beyond the basic message that you want them to support SB 931. Ask them what they already know about NAIS, explain your objections to it, and respond to the issues they bring up. Stay in touch through email after the phone call, so that they know you really care about this issue.

Talking Points

  • NAIS will hurt Missouri's economy:
    • There has been no cost analysis by USDA or Missouri Department of Agriculture
    • Costs of the program include the cost of the tags, hardware, software, time and labor
    • Many small farmer and ranchers cannot afford these costs
    • Service providers (veterinarians, feed stores, auction houses, meat processors, etc.) will be harmed when the farmers and ranchers go out of business.
    • Remaining farmers will pass the costs on to consumers, adding to inflation
  • Neither the USDA nor the state agency has scientific proof show that NAIS will improve disease control:
    • It does not address the cause, treatment, or transmission of disease, in domestic or wild animals.
    • It does not significantly improve on current methods for identification and tracking of disease.
  • NAIS is not necessary for the market. Age- and source-verification is already available through the USDA's Process Verified Program
  • NAIS will not improve food safety:
    • USDA itself has stated that this is not a food safety program
    • Contamination of food with e. coli and other bacteria occurs at the slaughterhouse or afterwards, while NAIS will stop before that point.
  • NAIS will not protect against terrorism:
    • The microchips chosen by the state can be cloned, destroyed, or infected with computer viruses, and reprogrammed. Any terrorist or thief can use this.
    • The database of information, created by the state agency and available to USDA, will provide a target for hackers.
  • NAIS infringes on people's constitutional rights, including due process, privacy, and religious freedom.
  • USDA states that NAIS is voluntary at the federal level, so there is no "federal mandate" requiring Missouri to implement this program.
  • Other states are also rejecting or limiting NAIS, so Missouri will not be disadvantaged by refusing to participate.

Action Alert:

Call and Write Your Representative to support SB 428!
April 23, 2007

Call and Write Your Senator to support SB 428!
April 2, 2007

Call and Write Your Senator, Representative,
and the Chairs of the Agriculture Committees
March 8, 2007

Summary as of 2/22/07

Three bills have been introduced. Both HB 422 and HB 478 are one-sentence long, stating simply that the Agriculture Department may not participate in NAIS without specific authorization from the legislature. HB 747 is a more comprehensive bill that would prohibit any NAIS, specifically addresses the role of private programs and current state animal disease programs, and includes a non-discrimination provision.

Nothing herein is intended as legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a lawyer licensed to practice in your state, who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

The information below is current as of April 20, 2006. While every effort has been made to assure accuracy, readers should confirm the information by examining the relevant state statutes and rules.

The Missouri legislature has been pro-active in protecting Missouri citizens from mandatory NAIS. The Senate has adopted a resolution urging that NAIS be kept voluntary. (Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 31.) The House is presently (as of 4/20/06) considering an even stronger resolution, stating that the Missouri General Assembly would "strongly oppose any mandatory" NAIS. (House Committee Substitute for House Concurrent Resolution No. 33.) An appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture would forbid the use of state funds to implement NAIS. (HB 1006, Section 6.075.)

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