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This came from Classified Livestock

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America


"Fighting for the U.S. Cattle Producer"

For Immediate
Release
Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
June 12,
2008
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson@r-
calfusa. com

Court Decision Suspends USDA's Efforts to Establish

a New Privacy Act System of Records for NAIS

Billings, Mont. - R-CALF USA was pleased to learn that on June 4, 2008,
the U.S. District Court - District of Columbia forced the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) to suspend indefinitely its plan to establish a new
Privacy Act system of records titled "National Animal Identification
System (NAIS)." In April, USDA proposed to establish the NAIS system of
records, which was to become effective June 9, 2008, and had published a
notice soliciting public comments. R-CALF USA and other organizations
submitted comments with the agency in opposition to USDA's plan. The
court-ordered suspension was a result of the Mary-Louise Zanoni v. United
States Department of Agriculture case. The suspension was published in
Tuesday's Federal Register.

In its comments to USDA, R-CALF USA states: "R-CALF maintains that USDA
has misrepresented the purpose, scope and nature of its proposed new
system of records, and that USDA's actual purposes of the
proposed new system was simply to develop a national registry of
real, personal and private property."

"In fact, it is R-CALF's position that the actual scope of this NAIS
registry was anything but voluntary, as media reports indicate there
likely are thousands of U.S. citizens whose property was added to the
NAIS registry against their will or without their knowledge," said R- CALF
USA President Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs
the group's animal health committee.

"It's also important to note that USDA has provided no evidence to
demonstrate that the NAIS registry is even feasible, as no
cost/benefit analysis has been conducted to determine if the cost of NAIS
to food-animal owners can be recovered in the marketplace, nor has USDA
provided evidence to show that things like normal loss of ear tags, data
entry errors and/or computer malfunctions would not effectively thwart
any traceback efforts," Thornsberry pointed
out. "As a result of this lack of information, USDA cannot justify the
need for its NAIS system or its related proposal for a new system of
records.

" R-CALF USA will continue to request that Congress put a moratorium on
any funding for NAIS, and we are grateful that the judicial system has
blocked the agency's misguided plan," he concluded. "We believe the
pending lawsuit will demonstrate that USDA has improperly
acquired information about many U.S. citizens and has wrongfully
included their information into its so-called `voluntary' data base
without their permission."

Note: To view R-CALF USA 's comments filed May 30, 2008, on USDA's
proposed new system of records, please visit the "Animal
Identification" link at www.r-calfusa. com.
 
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