The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee accepted an amendment cosponsored by Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), to reduce the budget for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) from $14.67 million to $7.3 million. The amendment also limits use of the funds only to pay for rule-making activities.
Several groups opposed to NAIS praised the action. “Thank you, Senators Tester and Enzi, for taking the lead against this expensive, intrusive, and unworkable program,” says Dan Teigen, a rancher with the Western Organization of Resource Councils. “The conference committee should zero out all funding for the animal identification program. You don’t just want to slow down a runaway train. You want to stop it.”
R-CALF USA President Max Thornsberry, meanwhile ,says “NAIS epitomizes what government should not do: it should not impose costly and highly intrusive regulatory burdens on private industry and private citizens without first considering alternatives, without first establishing a critical public need, and without first determining the effect that a significant government mandate would have on the culture and economy of the U.S. livestock industry,” said Thornsberry. “We view the Tester/Enzi amendment as an essential step towards requiring USDA to begin cooperating with