Texas Landowners Council

Animal Identification


Current status of premises and animal identification in Texas

By Lauren Stucky Flake

USDA announced February 5, 2010 that it will abandon its National Animal Identification System and develop a new Animal Disease Traceability Program that will only apply to animals moving in interstate commerce.  After spending more than $120 million to implement NAIS, USDA reports that only 36 percent of livestock producers participated.  USDA plans to have a draft rule for animal disease traceability in April 2011 and to implement the new regulations in 2013.

Last year, Wisconsin became the first and only state to enforce mandatory premises identification, the first step in implementing NAIS, and began prosecution of individuals for noncompliance.  In December 2009, USDA approved EriginateTM Corporation’s eTattooTM as the first official ultra-high radio frequency identification tag to be used in its animal health programs.  The eTattooTM Starter Kit, which includes 100 UHF cattle tags, costs $9,995; a bundle of 100 replacement tags costs $395.

H.B. 1361 passed in the 2005 Texas Legislative Session, giving the Texas Animal Health Commission unconstitutional power to implement NAIS in Texas.  H.B. 461 by state Rep. Sid Miller, which would have kept NAIS voluntary and removed criminal penalties for non-compliance in Texas, failed to pass the Texas Senate in the 2007 session.

In 2009, TLC supported S.B. 682 by state Sen. Eltife and companion H.B. 3322 by state Rep. Kleinschmidt, which would keep NAIS voluntary in Texas until the federal government makes it mandatory. The bill would also allow a participant to withdraw from NAIS at any time and would prohibit a person from conditioning a service, benefit, license, payment, or permit on participation in NAIS.  The Senate and House failed to pass these bills.

According to a May 2006 article in The New American, "The NAIS was conceived by the large meat producers in the late '90s as an alternative to country-of-origin meat labeling legislation introduced by Chenoweth-Hage."

Bandera County Courier Farm and Ranch News:  TLC Articles

“Threat of mandatory premises & animal ID continues”

By Lauren Stucky, August 16, 2007

“TAHC requires tagging of intrastate dairy cattle”

By Lauren Stucky, September 27, 2007

“Intrastate dairy cattle tagging enforced”

By Lauren Stucky Flake, April 10, 2008

“NAIS:  Detriment to Texas agriculture”

By Glyn Wright, June 11, 2009


Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance:  What is NAIS?

National Cattleman’s Beef Association:  Animal Identification

“Group accuses USDA of continued illegal NAIS activity”

Bandera County Courier Farm and Ranch News January 15, 2009

“U.S.D.A. Plans to Drop Program to Trace Livestock”

By William Neuman, The New York Times February 5, 2010

“USDA Tries Mouth-To-Mouth on NAIS”

By Chuck Jolley, Cattlenetwork.com February 8, 2010

“Rep. Jo Ann Emerson Questions USDA Sec. Vilsack on NAIS”

YouTube February 26, 2010