A memo from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, issued in September, would have mandated premise registration under the National Animal Identification System for producers engaged in interstate commerce and who participate in any of more than a dozen federally regulated disease programs.
However, the group R-CALF USA notified the agency in November that the earlier memo "constitutes an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment" and must be retracted. A week ago, USDA retracted the mandatory requirement.
The cancellation memo issued by APHIS on Dec. 22 states that the September memo has been canceled. R-CALF claims the USDA action "confirms what we've been saying all along - that USDA does not have the authority to implement NAIS and it is using underhanded and unlawful methods to coerce independent cattle producers into giving up their rights to their property," says Kenny Fox, chair of the group's animal identification committee.