Livestock Identification Raises Concerns

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02-15-07 A proposed bill in the Oklahoma State legislature would put a stop to electro-tracking devices like microchips into their animals. The USDA is pushing a national law forcing livestock owners to implant microchips into animals.

"We have known about if for a year," said Jan Lytle, an animal owner against the NAIS. "We found out from another horse person, that it was trying to be passing in their state, and they were outraged about it and were trying to get word to everyone else."

Jan is also a part of the Oklahomans against NAIS. She hopes House Bill 1842 will pass, so electro identification of animals will not happen in Oklahoma.

"They also announced last year they looked into the possibility of using radio frequency device like microchip," said Jack Carson, spokesman for Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. "They decided against that, will no longer be persued, it will be visual identification."

There are also fears the USDA can come onto your property without probable cause.

"Basically if passed as mandatory the usda will have complete control of your property they will be able to come onto your farm without a warrant and tell you to put down your heard," Lytle said.

Countires like Japan are using an identification system for a few years now, and the USDA states it can actually boost the premium of livestock knowing diseases can be traced.

"First of all last year USDA announced they have dropped all plans of ever making this a mandatory program, if you dont want to do it you dont have to," Carson said.

House Bill 1842 is designed to not allow that identification system to be used in Oklahoma. If it passes, Oklahomans will not be forced to do ID their animals, but rather ID them by choice.

Anyone interested attending the meeting sponsored by the Oklahomans against NAIS, it's at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore Saturday at 1pm.