Cattlemen tell congress NAIS should not be implemented
With a joint hearing held by the House of Representatives Agriculture and Homeland Security Committees, Kansas Cattlemen's Association provided testimony opposing mandatory NAIS. "It is important to let Congress know the producer side of this issue. We are seeing proponents of mandatory NAIS telling their side of the story. As producers we need to share the truth, and we must get facts out to the politicians creating our laws. Cattle producers are on the front line, and we are the ones that are affected most by NAIS," stated KCA Executive Director Brandy Carter.
KCA expressed how NAIS will harm producers. "Not only is NAIS a costly program, but the burden is thrust upon every cattle producer. The smaller the producer, the more costly the program will be to that individual. NAIS may help large corporations increase their profit margins by opening export, but it will consolidate the industry. It will have devastating consequences, driving people right out of business."
KCA President Lee Robbins remarked, "The problem with mandatory NAIS is that the bulk of the cost is taken up by the producers and the benefits are going to go to the packers and the retailers. Source and age premiums will be lost (by the producers) and primarily given to the packers. Producers will not receive near as much benefit as they put into it."
KCA detailed how NAIS is not a food safety issue and explained that NAIS is not a disease prevention program, but rather a management and identification program. "The implementation of mandatory NAIS, when looked at critically, does nothing to protect food safety or the health of the consumer. The capability of tracking meat products is lost once the livestock hits the packer. Therefore, since we have a system in place that has been utilized and functions, which takes care of these issues, why do we need to spend another $175.9 million on a program that a large majority of producers do not favor? Producers have accepted the current systems already in place, stated KCA Director Perry Owens.
KCA provided a solution to NAIS. Kansas Cattlemen's Association recommended that the US government adopt and implement a surveillance and identification program already in place. KCA also recommended that the database for storing information must be confidential and continue to be held and maintained by the state. Moreover, KCA recommended that the government enforce regulations to ban cattle from entering the US from diseased countries, to enforce regulations to require TB testing of all imported cattle, to enforce proper human decontamination regulations at all international airports located in the US, and to promote good health and management practices for producers. These recommendations will help prevent, deter, and trace diseases. NAIS only inhibits producers more than it helps.
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