Farmers Upset Over USDA Animal Tracing Program

ARKANSAS - The USDA is implementing a new program that will give it the ability to know exactly where the meat comes from that you're eating. In an effort to eliminate disease, the program would require farmers to tag or electronically chip their livestock. A group against this program spoke out Sunday in Conway.

Bismarck farmer Anita Messenger says, "We're losing our lifestyle with this. We can't function under this."

Some passionate feelings came out at a meeting of the Arkansas Animal Producers Association in Conway.

Jane Williams recently formed the group to encourage farmers to speak against the USDA animal tracing program.

Williams says, "Other people have an economic concern. It may cost more to tag the animal and follow the guidelines of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission than what they would receive when they sell the animal."

With recent outbreaks of food born illness, like mad cow disease, federal officials want all meat traceable to its origin within 48 hours.

Some are afraid that means losing control of their farms to the government with every being electronically traceable.
calendar icon 10 July 2006
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