NAIS – Let the Enforcements Begin
©Doreen Hannes for R CALF USA
In the state of Wisconsin, which has mandated the first prong of NAIS through agency rule making, the prosecutions of individuals opposed to NAIS has begun.
On September 23rd, an Amish gentleman, Emanuel J. Miller was taken to court in Clark County Court Neillsville, Wisconsin, for an evidentiary hearing on complex civil forfeiture for failing to register his premises and moved immediately to the first stage of trial. Emanuel Miller and his father as well as their Deacon testified in the trial as to their objection to the NAIS premises identification number. As the USDA has proudly proclaimed in many glossy brochures, premises registration is the -first step- in the National Animal Identification System. The Amish in Wisconsin have become quite aware of this.
On October 21st, in Polk County, Wisconsin, R-CALF USA members, Pat and Melissa Monchilovich are going to trial for the same charges of complex civil forfeiture. Pat and his wife raise cattle in Cumberland, and have failed to register property as a premises with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection as DATCP has required by regulation.
This is the tip of the iceberg that is NAIS. One could look upon Wisconsin as the sentinel case in the enforcement measures necessary to bring NAIS compliance in this nation.
Although the statute passed enabling DATCP to require premises registration, it did allow for exemptions. When DATCP wrote the regulations, they decided to disallow any exemptions. This is a major issue, particularly with the Amish community (and others) who hold religious objections to the program. As reported from the Miller hearing, the Amish say that although they cannot state with absolute certainty that the premises number is the precursor to the Mark of the Beast, they do know it is the first step of NAIS which leads to the individual numbering and tracking of animals, and believe that caution is in order to avoid discovering later that they had violated their beliefs and then have no recourse to remedy that error.
Despite a desire on the part of proponents of NAIS to negate the religious objections against the National Animal Identification System, the fact that it is a global program is indisputable. The enforcement measures and final details are left up to the member nations of the World Trade Organization.
In Australia, rancher Stephen Blair was fined a total of $17,300 for using the wrong tags on 177 of his cattle. Notably, the components of NLIS, the Australian animal identification plan, are the same as those in NAIS.
Another case where the identification of cattle was in violation of the identification mandate to facilitate global trade is the UK. In March of 2007, a dairy farmer, David Dobbin had an unspecified number of cattle whose tags didn’t match their passports. The EU regulations allowed DEFRA, the UK equivalent of the USDA, to confiscate both his cattle and his passports and require him to positively identify the herd within 48 hours or face their loss. It is a complete impossibility to positively identify animals without either the animals nor their paperwork, but that was the requirement. The case was put off for one month and then appealed on the basis that the agency couldn’t afford to keep feeding these cattle, so they were destroyed. Mr. Dobbin lost 567 cattle and was paid no indemnity at all.
At issue in the Wisconsin cases is that we are witnessing the first enforcement actions in the implementation of the National Animal Identification System. The fines in the charges brought against Emanuel J Miller and R-CALF USA members Pat and Melissa Monchilovich are between $200 and $5,000. Premises identification is just the first step of this program, then it’s individual or group lot identification and thirdly, the tracking of all movements. The final component is enforcement, which is now coming to bear in Wisconsin. More than 90% of attendees at the USDA listening sessions on NAIS said “No NAIS, Not Now, Not Ever!” If we mean that, we must stand in support of the people being charged in Wisconsin.
1) Miller trial
2) Stephen Blair, Australia
3) DobbinUK http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1545862/Christopher-Bookers-notebook.html
Used with permission of the author
For the results of Pat and Melissa Monchilovich’s trial