Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund have sent a Notice of Intent to Sue letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) regarding implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

NAIS is a USDA plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country.

The notice asks both the USDA and the MDA to “immediately suspend the funding and implementation of NAIS” and “fully and fairly examine” whether there is even a need for such a program.

Fund President Taaron Meikle says that contrary to USDA's claims, NAIS will do nothing to protect the health of the nation's livestock and poultry. “At a time when food safety costs are a real concern, the USDA has spent over $118 million to promote a program that will burden everyone from pleasure horse owners to traditional ranchers and small farmers, to individuals who raise a few chickens, steers or pigs on their own land for their own use.”

The notice points out that USDA has never published rules regarding NAIS, in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act; nor has ever performed an Environmental Impact Statement or an environmental assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

The notice is available at www.farmtoconsumer.org.