February 11, 2009

NAIS Updates Around the Country
and Urgent Arkansas Action Needed!
Below is information about what is happening with NAIS in the USDA, Congress, and state legislatures across the country. It is important that everyone take action on the USDA proposed rule! And if you live in one of the states listed below, be sure to call your state legislators as well. For those in other states, stay tuned -- several more state bills are in the works, and we will send updates in the coming weeks.

*** Calls needed urgently in Arkansas! More details below ***

FEDERAL UPDATE
For information on the USDA’s proposed rule, see our previous alert. The deadline to submit comments opposing the draft rule is March 16. Click here to submit comments online.

Or mail TWO copies to: Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

See our sample comments here, or you can download them from here.

Be sure to personalize your comments!

It is critical that we get comments from the thousands of people opposed to NAIS in the formal record. Not only will that impact the USDA rulemaking, but it will show Congress the depth of the opposition to NAIS. Congresswoman DeGette from Colorado recently filed HR 814, which would require tracking of every place a food animal was kept, for animals in interstate commerce, and potentially restrict access to USDA-inspected slaughterhouses for animals not part of the system. You can read the bill here.

No committee hearing has been set, and it is unclear if the bill will move forward at all. But it is a sign that some Congress members continue to push for NAIS. Please take a few moments to comment on the proposed regulations now, so that we can send a signal back to Congress that NAIS is not the answer to our animal health and food safety issues!

ARKANSAS - ACTION NEEDED TODAY!
Arkansas HB 1046 was scheduled to be voted on yesterday, but was delayed, and might be voted on today, February 11. This bill would limit NAIS to a voluntary, non-coercive program. Please call your Representative immediately and leave a message: “Please vote YES on HB 1046, the Freedom to Farm Act.”

You can read the bill here.

You can find out who represents you here.

SOUTH DAKOTA - ACTION NEEDED BY FEBRUARY 12!
South Dakota HB 1224 will be heard in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, February 12, 2009. This bill would limit NAIS to a voluntary, non-coercive program only.

You can find out who represents you here.

The House Committee members are listed here.

If your representative is on the Committee, please call him or her today! If your representative is not on the Committee, then call the Committee Chair, Representative Thomas Brunner, at 605-773-3851.

You can read the bill here.

TEXAS
SB 682 would limit NAIS to a voluntary, non-coercive program, removing the Texas Animal Health Commission’s authority to make NAIS mandatory, and repealing the civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. No hearing date has been set yet, and we are trying to line up co-sponsors. Please call your State Senator today and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill!

You can find out who represents you here.

You can read the bill here.

Also call Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, at 512-463-0001, to ask him to support SB 682. Help spread the word!

WASHINGTON
HB 2086 and its companion bill, SB 5956, would limit NAIS to a voluntary, non-coercive program only. They were filed this week and have been referred to committee. No hearing dates have been set yet.

You can read the bill here.

You can find out who represents you here.

WYOMING
HB 263 would have required the creation of a state system and bar participation in NAIS. The committee did not hear it before the deadline, so the bill has died for this session. However, the committee chair has agreed that the legislature needs to look closely at the issue, and it is likely that NAIS will be a topic for an interim study. Take a moment to call your legislator and ask him or her to make sure this is a priority!


You can find out who represents you here.

On a different topic, HB 16, the Cottage Food Industry bill, would exempt people making and selling certain low-risk foods at farmers markets and roadside stands from licensing requirements. It has passed the House and may be voted on by the Senate as early as tomorrow.

You can read the bill here.

For more information, visit and support LibertyArk.net