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Say “No” Now to Stop Mandatory EID

Billings, MT | It took us a while to figure out the endgame for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) persistence in trying to force U.S. cattlemen and cattlewomen to affix an electronic identification (EID) eartag on all their cattle and to include their cattle in a national database.

The USDA said it’s all about disease traceability – that EID eartags and their associated databases are needed to prevent the spread of disease. No, they’re not! The United States has successfully prevented disease spread for many livestock diseases for decades.

In fact, the USDA finalized a rule in 2013 and proclaimed that it wasn’t the EID eartag or national database that was needed. The Agency said they could improve disease tracebacks and prevent disease spread with several types of identification devices, including brands, tattoos, metal ear clips, backtags, and group lot identification. And while they said EID tags could be used as well, they weren’t essential.

So there had to be something else driving USDA to try and force a costly EID mandate upon producers.

Think global!

The World Organization for Animal Health, a global governance organization headquartered in Paris, France, has long encouraged countries to adopt a mandatory animal identification scheme controlled by the government.

The USDA wants to be a team player in the global arena, so it’s incentivized to carry out the global organization’s recommendation for a government mandated EID program in the United States. After all, the United States is the largest beef producer in the world, and it hasn’t set well with the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health that the United States hasn’t dutifully complied with its EID recommendation.

But there’s more.

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the global environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards pushed by global financial institutions have both found the need for forcing EID upon cattle producers worldwide.

You see, they all want to control industries that they believe are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Now, to actually gain control over such industries, two preliminary steps are needed: First, they have to have a means of measuring an industry’s emissions. Second, they need a means of reporting those emissions.

This is where EID eartags and the associated database come in. When all cattle are EID tagged and entered into the database, it’s an easy task to measure total emissions by multiplying the number of head by some emissions factor. And then, using the database, those emissions can be reported.

Now once those emissions are measured and reported, they can then be managed and controlled.

Here’s a real-life example. Ireland set goals for reducing emissions. Its EID database informed government officials as to the volume of emissions attributed to its cattle herd, they knew where in Ireland those emissions were being generated, and they knew they could reduce emissions by targeting the areas where emissions were high.

And what did Ireland do? It decided to reduce emissions by culling tens of thousands of cattle. And it knew who owned the cattle it wanted to cull, and it knew where the cattle owners lived, just by looking at the database.

Now you know what the EID mandate is all about. It’s not about disease traceability – that’s just a pretext. It is all about control. It’s all about managing and controlling an industry that’s impossible to control unless you have the cattle industry’s nearly 100 million cows individually identified and categorized in an electronic spreadsheet.

This is not some far-off concern. The USDA is fighting right now to implement phase 1 of its ultimate plan to control the U.S. cattle herd – for the same reasons as Ireland – by forcing EID eartags on American cattle and establishing an associated database.

On Jan. 24, the USDA sent its mandatory EID rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review before it becomes an enforceable law. We are literally days away from the USDA’s implementation and enforcement of its EID rule.

We have to stop it now.

Here’s what you can do: First, call your members of Congress and tell them they must stop USDA from issuing its EID eartag mandate on American cattlemen and cattlewomen. Second, call any farm organization that you know about or are a member of and tell them to fight to stop this EID mandate. Third, call your neighbors and tell them you need their help to stop the USDA from imposing a costly EID mandate on your industry.

And don’t think that you can’t stop this. Remember, R-CALF USA stopped this in 2019. Do you remember the globalists’ rallying cry back then? Their cry was “EID by 2023.” That didn’t happen because we said “No.” We need your help in saying “No” right now.


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R-CALF USA’s weekly commentary educates and informs both consumers and producers about timely issues important to the U.S. cattle and sheep industries and rural America.

Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) is the largest producer-only trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle and sheep industries. Visit www.r-calfusa.com or call 406-252-2516 for more information.

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