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*USDA has extended the comment period to let them know what you think about mandatory animal identification to April 19th, 2023.  So, If you previously didn’t get around to submitting a comment, NOW’s your time!

Tell the USDA to Stop Mandatory Electronic Animal Identification for Cattle!

Submit Your Comments on or Before Wednesday April 19th

* Why this matters to both Missouri and U.S. independent family farmers and all of us:  Mandatory animal I.D. is yet another tactic by the multi-national meatpackers to control MORE of our food system and the cattle and beef market, squeezing family farmers out and giving consumers less choice on grocery store shelves.

This matters for everyone that eats and cares about our economies, our environment, and our fight for democracy.  Please take action today!

How to Comment & Talking Points:

Submit a comment into USDA before April 19th to help stop Mandatory Animal Identification by clicking HERE

Tell them that Mandatory Animal Identification:

  • Is a pro-corporate proposal that would unreasonably burden farmers and ranchers while giving corporate multinational meatpackers yet another market advantage.
  • Will be used to satisfy monopolistic meatpacker interests to increase their export markets, their profits, and their control of the U.S. cattle industry.
  • Creates yet another undue economic burden on Missouri’s independent family farm cattle producers.
  • Does not include the identification of imported meats.
  • Does nothing to increase consumer choice or confidence.
  • Has no food safety benefits.
  • Has the potential to push liability for food safety issues created at corporate meatpacking plants onto family farm producers.

Background

 

For over a decade, multinational meatpacking corporations, tech companies, and USDA have pushed mandatory electronic identification for livestock, particularly cattle. They claim it’s an animal health measure, with veiled claims that it also supports food safety, but neither is true.

The real story is that it is to maximize meatpacking companies’ profits, while the tech companies will make millions selling tags, readers, and all the related infrastructure…all at the expense of farmers and consumers.

The proposal for electronic ID was defeated in 2010 by massive opposition from MRCC members, independent cattle farmers and ranchers, livestock sale barns, and consumers who want to buy from American producers. But Agribusiness and its allies in the USDA are now trying to bring it back.

On January 18th, 2023, USDA published a proposed rule (Docket No. APHIS-2021-0020), “Use of Electronic Identification Ear Tags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison.” This would mandate electronic livestock identification to track cattle crossing state lines.

USDA claims it will help with animal health, but it doesn’t. This rule is proposed without evidence that the current system is not working to provide animal traceability or that it is needed for food safety. In fact, most food safety issues are caused at the processing plant, where traceability ends after slaughter.

CAFOs: The proposal benefits large corporate-controlled operations by permitting “group / lot identification,” i.e., designated thousands of animals with one ID number while independent producers would need to tag each individual animal. In addition, are the obvious privacy issues that could also arise.

The real reason for mandatory electronic animal identification is to satisfy monopolistic meatpacker interests to increase their export markets, their profits, and their control of the U.S. cattle industry.

For decades, multinational meatpacking corporations have looked for ways to control our meat supply. Over 80% of U.S. beef is processed by just four multinational companies, but they don’t fully control the hundreds of thousands of people who raise cattle on their farms and ranches.

Why is this important?

Mandatory electronic animal identification is a step in the wrong direction, especially at a time when the negative impacts of corporate consolidation of our food supply are becoming ever clearer, with shortages and skyrocketing prices (while the corporations’ profits also skyrocket).