Report on January Mountain Grove Meeting
GROUP WARNED OF NAIS TAGS BEING PUT ON COWS AT SOME SALE BARNS
Despite warnings of a winter storm approaching, the Ozarks Property Rights Congress convened Thursday night, January 28, in Mountain Grove to hear of the developing storm being perpetrated by the Missouri Department of Agriculture through local sale barns.
Doreen Hannes spoke to the group about the practice started at some area sale barns, at the direction of MDOA personnel, of tagging cows with National Animal Identification System tags. She said according to all NAIS documents issued over the past several years, it is very clear that “840″ (NAIS) tags must be connected to a premise number of the producer where the animal was born and the premise number of the buyer of the animal. She said this is a back door attempt to bring unsuspecting sellers and buyers of cows into the NAIS premise registration program.
Missouri passed a law (SB931) in 2008 which prohibits MDOA from forcing NAIS premise registration on citizens. At a hearing on the use of these tags held before Chairman Senator Chuck Purgason’s Government Oversight Committee recently, at which Hannes testified, state vet Taylor Woods and MDOA director Jon Hagler testified there was no official policy on use of the NAIS tags by these sale barn vets. “Some are using them and others are not . It`s up to the market veterinarian”.
Hannes and others at the OPRC meeting told of sale barn owners and vets saying they had been told by MDOA personnel to use the NAIS tags in cows coming through the sale beginning Jan. 1 Other barns are saying they are not applying the NAIS tags.
At the Jefferson City hearing, Senator Purgason instructed Woods and Hagler to submit their policy in writing, making certain that it reflects SB 931 requiring NAIS to be voluntary, and send the policy to all sale barns as there is currently no policy that can be nailed down as MDOA is operating by word of mouth.
“The sale barns are caught in the middle of this”, said PRC president Russell Wood. “They feel they have to do what MDOA tells them but at the same time they are going to have some mad customers who end up in the NAIS program just by buying or selling at the sale barn. Producers should ask their sale barn if they are using the 840 NAIS tags before they unload”
Hagler stated in a letter to Senator Purgason that the NAIS tags being used have nothing to do with premise registrations. Hannes said, “Secretary Hagler is either ignorant about the NAIS program or misrepresenting the facts to the Senator. Tags starting with the number “840″ are official NAIS tags and must be tied to the premise of origin. Other wise there is no point in using them, as the stated purpose is trace back.”
On another matter, a Douglas county property owner involved with a boundary dispute with the Department of Conservation reported that no headway had been made in resolving their differences. At the Dec. 3rd OPRC meeting attended by department personnel it was agreed the two sides would meet and try to resolve the conflict. That meeting has not been held it was reported.