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Small farm group opposes mandatory animal ID

Monday, March 23, 2009

A farm group opposes a law requiring animal identification.
A farm group opposes a law requiring animal identification.

A group advocating greater availability of locally-produced foods from small farms said it is opposing the proposed law to make animal identification mandatory.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund said several proposed food safety laws would place burdensome and unfair regulation on small farms.

"Small farms and the local food movement are not part of the food safety problem in this country; they are part of the solution and should be left alone," said Pete Kennedy, acting president of the group.

A House bill would require mandatory participation in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The group said Congress should not treat small farms in the same way it regulates factory farms.

Kennedy said NAIS and other proposed food safety bills suffer from a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have previously overstretched their legislated jurisdictions, Kennedy said.

He added that Congress must impose restrictions on these agencies to reduce unfair regulations and enforcement actions on small farms.

The fund said it defends the rights and freedoms of sustainable farmers and protects consumer access to local, nutrient-dense foods.

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