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Farmers uneasy about animal tracking

by 5m Editor
11 December 2007, at 10:48am

US - Farmers have until Friday to decide if they will participate in a federal database designed to keep a lid on animal diseases.

But some local farmers, such as Ron Maribett of Plympton, have been adamantly opposed to the National Animal Identification System from its inception.

Maribett fears the database is the first step in putting smaller farmers like him out of business. He is concerned about the costs of labeling and reporting, and he believes the program favors large-scale factory farmers.

"I’m opting out," Maribett said. "I don’t want to be involved."

The controversial animal surveillance program is designed to allow the federal government to track a disease outbreak in the food supply. A national disease response network is intended to quickly limit the spread of plagues and outbreaks like mad cow disease, swine fever, bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease.

Proponents say the database will allow officials to trace an animal disease to its source, identify which animals are involved in an outbreak, and determine where the infected animals are located and what other animals might have been exposed.

The program consists of three components: registration, animal identification by tagging and animal tracking, which includes reporting when animals move from farm to farm.

Source: ThePatriotLedger

5m Editor