Texas Farmers Union 2004 National Animal Identification Resolution

Whereas, a single imported cow found in Washington state tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has called for an accelerated implementation of a verifiable national animal identification program, and

Whereas, we are encouraged by the actions taken by the Department, yet maintain many questions surrounding the implementation of such a program, and

Whereas, we believe and support proactive steps that are necessary to maintain and ensure consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef and beef products as well as to stabilize the domestic and export markets and minimize any economic damage resulting for this unfortunate incident,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Texas Farmers Union urge the following concerns be adequately addressed by the Administration and Congress before further promulgation or implementation of a verifiable national animal identification program:

1. The costs of implementing the program remain uncertain. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated the necessity of a national animal identification program to combat terrorism; therefore we urge DHS to provide the full funding necessary to create and maintain the database and provide compensation to producers for their costs of implementing this system.

2. Ensuring the information gathered through a national animal identification program is coupled with mandatory country-of-origin labeling at the retail level. It makes sense to have one seamless system, as long as labeling is provided to consumers: therefore we urge these two systems work seamlessly together.

3. The use of the proprietary information is not used by packers to discount producer prices, nor should the information be subject to a Freedom of Information Act inquiry: therefore we urge the information collected be maintained at the federal government level to ensure private and public access is not allowed.

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556