I think it's an overstatement, but points the way to the future. It's rather like when Wal-mart adopts green standards or goes organic--it has a big impact. So too, if the big buyers push animal identification, their suppliers are going to comply. But that's true only for the animals and the suppliers involved with the big buyers. Meat packers would influence beef and pork, but not bison or ostrich. And those small producers who don't sell to the big packers wouldn't feel the pressure. So we would, and I expect we will, evolve to a two-level system....who at the top of the buying chain pushed back down and stated they would reward cattle feeders and ranchers for using USDA-approved ID systems? Who announced they would dock cattle that started arriving at the packer without approved-ID systems? Who defended the system at the animal ID meetings for packers? The packers complained about the idea of being responsible for essentially retiring tags when animals were slaughtered. The packers also let the livestock groups and USDA take the lead on NAIS and it has failed.Animal ID would be a national system today if Tyson had simply decided six years ago that is the way it's going to be.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
From Chris Clayton on the responsibility for the failure of NAIS: