Colorado Producers Resist Livestock Registration

US - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's drive to register livestock premises to guard against disease and bioterrorism is meeting resistance from Colorado stockmen, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday.
calendar icon 8 November 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

The premises registration is the first step toward individual animal identification and tracking, which the government says will speed a response to disease or bioterrorism targeting food supplies, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

The goal is to equip officials with tools to identify diseased livestock and where they've been within 48 hours of discovery. But some fear the now-voluntary program will become mandatory.

For Rob Alexander, a cow-calf rancher in Elbert County, the program could be just another drain on his already wafer-thin profit margin.

"I have to buy this new tool to put a tag in the ear, and then I have to buy new software to scan the tags," he told the newspaper. "Will it make my life more complicated? Yes. Am I excited about that? No. To the producer who's on the short end of the stick, this smells like a rat, because most of the burden is going to be on us."

Joel Franz of Burlington, a cattle rancher for 50 years, hasn't signed up his ranch and takes issue with a voluntary program he said pushes registration with bribes. Some states offer cash to register, he said.


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