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One man's opinion on M-ID

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Tommy

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I have read and reread most of the dialogue written about the need for animal identification. Nothing that I have read warrants such a redundant program that seems to be full of cost overruns and less than competent administration.



Before we step into another program engineered by companies that operate on the periphery of our industry with costs that will probably outdistance predictions, maybe we should expose this concept for what it really is.



One thing to be cognizant of is the fact that we have always had animal id (fire brand) and trace back. That is precisely how we have all but eradicated theft of our cattle and bangs from our cowherds. And, I may ad, that we have done that without the intervention of corporate America.



The proponents of this program are using fear and financial gain in the same dialogue.



On one hand, they want to create this belief to the consumer that bio-terrorism will strike the meat industry and widespread death will occur.

On the other, they are telling producers that premiums will be paid for ID cattle. And, that those premiums will far out weigh the cost (how many times have we heard something like that).



But, what are the costs going to be? No one has given any real concrete evidence of costs. Only speculation. In one industry paper, the publisher used words like we “think” this is what it will cost and we “hope” this will be the premiums.



Any profitable business that foresees a new venture on the horizon, first develops a cost analysis to see if it will be a sound financial move. Then and only then does it proceed (is this what the tag and software companies have done?).



If one segment of the industry wants it while another segment pays for it, it will be a cost effective move for the company that desires it. If that segment can inflate the price of the finished product to foreign markets because of animal ID while another pays for it, how great is that!



It appears to me that those who are pushing so hard for animal ID are building the cart first and then will decide how many horses it will take to pull it and whose stable the horse will come from.



Or maybe they don’t care. Maybe, their the ones that stand to gain the most by it.



It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the financial windfall a company will experience by such a program. All one has to do is to add up all the cattle traded on any given week, month or year. Then, multiply that by what an ID is supposed to cost.



But, what if the projected cost (used loosely) is not $3.00 pr head. What if the cost runs up to $20 or even $30 a head?



If you think this is far fetched, ask an Australian cattleman what he is paying. The president of the Australia Beef Association called it the worst one single thing ever to hit the cattlemen. They were told the cost would be $3.00 a head. It is now $37.00 a head and still rising.



There are leaders in our industry that have not told the whole truth about animal id in other countries. They have openly misled us into believing that it has worked.



And please keep in mind that animal id is not a cure for anything other than low profits in companies wishing to sell products connected to the id concept.



All I am saying is that we must have in black and white what the true costs will be and what part of the industry will fund it and lastly, what are the legitimate benefits to us as producers.



Then and only then can we as producers calculate the true effectiveness of the program.



Where will we be financially if the market goes south? Will it take the profit on a given calf to ID that calf?

It costs an average of $350 to run a cow per year. If a 500 pound calf price dips to $70, where will the money come from to ID that animal?



As a fifth generation cattleman who believes Mother Nature is the greatest teacher and common sense the greatest guide, I can see ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE in this program.



We have become a group of symptom treating cattlemen while allowing companies to control us through their marketing and advertising.



The whole animal id program has the same stench of corporate corruption found in so many aspects of our culture today.



It is time we return to a management plan based upon production efficiency. A plan based upon eliminating the problems that occur and not just treating the symptoms that appear. By doing this, we can eliminate the need for outside expenditures called on so often by so many cattlemen of today.



Profit in the cattle business can be achieved through hard work and diligently applying principles that produce a calf for every cow at weaning on nothing more than grass and mother’s milk.



Sincerely,



Ron Freeman, Freeman Bros. Ranching
 

Broke Cowboy

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Tommy - honest question time - because I really do not know.

So here goes.

Cow is born in Montana and branded - "XY"

At 10 months of age she is then directly sold to someone in Arizona - small producer with 10 animals looking to breed up and branded "GH".

Montana operation goes under two years later.

All the next sales are completed in auction houses by order buyers.

At three years of age she goes to Colorado and is branded "AB".

Colorado operator retires within three years.

At 6 years of age she goes to North Carolina and is not branded or tagged.

This operator dies after selling her.

At 8 years of age she goes to South Carolina and is not tagged or branded.

This operator moves away after selling out.

At 9 years of age she goes to a small holder in North Carolina and is tagged with a steel tag and not branded.

She then goes to a small holder at age 12 and has her last calf in Tennessee - no tag or brand added. This operator sells her to a buyer and moves away.

She is then slaughtered in - pick your State - but not Tennessee.

Total life time is 13 years.

How is she tracked back to place of origin?

How many people will have to search brand books and such to find her?

Not unrealistic - I have one animal in my herd that has lived in two States and 4 provinces.

Thanks,

B.C.
 

wdcook

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Broke Cowboy asks, "How is she tracked back to place of origin? "

The real questions are 'Why is it necessary to do so?' and 'Is it cost effective?'

Mr. Freemans' letter is excellent and the potential problems with this program he elucidates need to be fully addressed before M'ID is implemented.
 

Broke Cowboy

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wdcook said:
Broke Cowboy asks, "How is she tracked back to place of origin? "

The real questions are 'Why is it necessary to do so?' and 'Is it cost effective?'

Mr. Freemans' letter is excellent and the potential problems with this program he elucidates need to be fully addressed before M'ID is implemented.

My response to this is two fold.

Trace back MAY become necessary due to various health and disease control requirements. So is it necessay? I do not have an answer - I suppose I could say that I am a fence sitter.

Cost effectiveness - well, that would depend on whether or not it truly becomes necessary to trace the origin of an animal that carries a disease or that could have come into contact with a disease.

Once again I do not have an answer. I am quite up front when I say I am simply looking for answers because I freely admit I am not so sure at this time that it IS necessary. Then again - maybe it is?

If what is in place, then the animal I asked about in my original question could be traced back - or could it?

Be that as it may I also believe that whether or not we need or want this, it will come - if only to provide what export countries want. So, wdcook has chosen to ignore my question and provide a question for an answer instead.

I am quite happy with Mr. Freeman's letter - however the way I read the letter he said that hot branding was in place and sufficient. At present I am not so sure this is a completely effective method. That is why I asked my initial question. Either way I am in the explore mode.

Thanks,

B.C.
 
A

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Broke Cowboy said:
wdcook said:
Broke Cowboy asks, "How is she tracked back to place of origin? "

The real questions are 'Why is it necessary to do so?' and 'Is it cost effective?'

Mr. Freemans' letter is excellent and the potential problems with this program he elucidates need to be fully addressed before M'ID is implemented.

My response to this is two fold.

Trace back MAY become necessary due to various health and disease control requirements. So is it necessay? I do not have an answer - I suppose I could say that I am a fence sitter.

Cost effectiveness - well, that would depend on whether or not it truly becomes necessary to trace the origin of an animal that carries a disease or that could have come into contact with a disease.

Once again I do not have an answer. I am quite up front when I say I am simply looking for answers because I freely admit I am not so sure at this time that it IS necessary. Then again - maybe it is?

If what is in place, then the animal I asked about in my original question could be traced back - or could it?

Be that as it may I also believe that whether or not we need or want this, it will come - if only to provide what export countries want. So, wdcook has chosen to ignore my question and provide a question for an answer instead.

I am quite happy with Mr. Freeman's letter - however he said that hot branding was in place and sufficient. At present I am not so sure this is a completely effective method. That is why I asked my initial question and would Either way I am in the explore mode.

Thanks,

B.C.

Broke Cowboy- I have a hard time buying the disease story sometimes...A good example would be the Canadian BSE cases- all of which originated in a "cluster" area of a part of Alberta and Saskatchewan- one found just lately that was even born post feed ban...Using the disease theory and the sound science which has been used for years- you would quarantine and isolate that area, testing all animals slaughtered from that area to find the extent of the disease and to prevent spread...

But instead the CFIA and USDA use the sound science of short term economics, change all the worlds BSE rules and say don't worry about it :???:

What good is having M-ID involving BSE?....
 

Big Muddy rancher

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In a time when cattle weren't as mobile as today your theory might work OT but just watch superior auction and see where all the cattle go. Heck can someone look up a Montana brand on the internet ? You can Sask.s brands.

A ID tag would give you a place to start and if the animal was tracked it could give you all the steps.
 

Jason

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In his letter he says bangs has all but been eliminated with just using hot brands...not true, those metal tags are considered individual ID.

Customers are starting to ask for source verification. Japan wants under 21 month beef. How do you confirm the age of the animal if the herd of origin is unknown?

Hot brands are good for range cattle, but my exact brand is registered in Alberta alone in all 6 places. That alone won't tell anyone where a calf was born.
 

Broke Cowboy

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Oldtimer said:
Broke Cowboy said:
wdcook said:
Broke Cowboy asks, "How is she tracked back to place of origin? "

The real questions are 'Why is it necessary to do so?' and 'Is it cost effective?'

Mr. Freemans' letter is excellent and the potential problems with this program he elucidates need to be fully addressed before M'ID is implemented.

My response to this is two fold.

Trace back MAY become necessary due to various health and disease control requirements. So is it necessay? I do not have an answer - I suppose I could say that I am a fence sitter.

Cost effectiveness - well, that would depend on whether or not it truly becomes necessary to trace the origin of an animal that carries a disease or that could have come into contact with a disease.

Once again I do not have an answer. I am quite up front when I say I am simply looking for answers because I freely admit I am not so sure at this time that it IS necessary. Then again - maybe it is?

If what is in place, then the animal I asked about in my original question could be traced back - or could it?

Be that as it may I also believe that whether or not we need or want this, it will come - if only to provide what export countries want. So, wdcook has chosen to ignore my question and provide a question for an answer instead.

I am quite happy with Mr. Freeman's letter - however he said that hot branding was in place and sufficient. At present I am not so sure this is a completely effective method. That is why I asked my initial question and would Either way I am in the explore mode.

Thanks,

B.C.

Broke Cowboy- I have a hard time buying the disease story sometimes...A good example would be the Canadian BSE cases- all of which originated in a "cluster" area of a part of Alberta and Saskatchewan- one found just lately that was even born post feed ban...Using the disease theory and the sound science which has been used for years- you would quarantine and isolate that area, testing all animals slaughtered from that area to find the extent of the disease and to prevent spread...

But instead the CFIA and USDA use the sound science of short term economics, change all the worlds BSE rules and say don't worry about it :???:

What good is having M-ID involving BSE?....

I do not know the answer to your question.

But, could my original animal be traced back if it ever became necessary - whatever the reason?

I think this is going to descend into something other than what I had hoped.

Think I will step out now - regards,

B.C.
 
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Broke Cowboy-- My answer would be probably...I have seen cows with as many as 20+ brands on them that were tracked back to origin- even with skips in the middle where no one branded and the fact they had been in several states and had brands on from differing states...I have seen many times where cattle and horses found in no brand states were tracked back thru the records and brands on the animal to where they had came from...

Will you be able to track that animal that loses its eartag back to origin? Or just back to who was the last to stick in a tag?

My problem with M-ID is that several states have very well operating permanent ID systems- that have been working for years...But because some states did not invest in any type of system, its going to cost all of us much more....And I don't think $20- $35 per head is far fetched in order to reach the stage APHIS wants NAIS to be at by 2009...The expenses for ID inspectors, computers and RFID readers, salesbarn and scalehouse alterations and computer installation, computerized Health Inspections, Vet costs, etc. etc., haven't even been looked at......What is a vet going to charge for that health inspection if he has to take the time to run each thru a chute and record an individual ID number :???: People bitch now about 50 cents a head brand inspections...How much will the community scalehouse have to put into computer and reader installation at the scalehouses? Will the scalehouse charge then be $5 per head instead of $1?

A whole lot of questions that no one appears to have looked at...

And as wdcook says "Is it necessary?" It doesn't appear it was to the CFIA when they had a chance to isolate and test a high incidence "cluster" area for BSE.....
 

Jinglebob

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In our state, whenever an animal is sold in the western part of the state, there is a brand inspection and a paper trail is started. As long as people keep track of all sales, there is always a paper trail. Probably a computer trail also.

If every state had a designated number to be burned onto the jaw, then every animal would have a state designation and then if there is a regestered hot iron brand, or "logo", there will always be a way to trace back. Hell, we are already doing it now and at a very cheap cost.

I thnk M-ID is just another step to keep track of people. Just like our social security numbers.

As for age verification, we will just all have to put down individual birth dates. Huh, kind'a like what everybody puts down in their little calf book at calving time.

Or else use date of last born calf. For those who calve year around, it could be a problem. Could burn the birth month on the shoulder or somewhere else, for every calf born that month. We have ID now, why reinvent the wheel?
 

mrj

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It would be wonderful if we did not need a mandatory ID system. A market driven ID system would reward those who provided information desired by customers. Those who chose not to participate would take their chances on marketing their cattle. No one to blame but oneself for any problems.

However, if a critter with Foot and Mouth disease shows up after going through a couple of sale barns, wouldn't we all demand an accurate and FAST trace-back to see just where the animal originated and which cattle had possible contact?

BSE very will might be the least worrisome of our potential for cattle disease problems because it is not a fast developer and it is NOT directly transmissible from animal to animal by simple contact.

Jinglebob, there is an outfit called PETA that practically foams at the mouth at the mention of jaw branding. Seems to me they either did, or nearly did, succeed in getting that practice outlawed for at least some situations a few years ago. Anybody recall what happened with that?

MRJ
 

Jinglebob

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If we let groups like PETA rule us, we are lost.

I think brands could be a fast trace back, with all the computers we all use any more.

Wasn't one of the BSE cases found because of brands?

I've been branded. I doesn't hurt that much. for goodness sakes, we cut off the end of our male childrens' foreskins. I'd rather be branded! :lol:
 

ocm

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MRJ said:
It would be wonderful if we did not need a mandatory ID system. A market driven ID system would reward those who provided information desired by customers. Those who chose not to participate would take their chances on marketing their cattle. No one to blame but oneself for any problems.

However, if a critter with Foot and Mouth disease shows up after going through a couple of sale barns, wouldn't we all demand an accurate and FAST trace-back to see just where the animal originated and which cattle had possible contact?

BSE very will might be the least worrisome of our potential for cattle disease problems because it is not a fast developer and it is NOT directly transmissible from animal to animal by simple contact.

Jinglebob, there is an outfit called PETA that practically foams at the mouth at the mention of jaw branding. Seems to me they either did, or nearly did, succeed in getting that practice outlawed for at least some situations a few years ago. Anybody recall what happened with that?

MRJ

And your proof that we can't already do it fast enough is????????

I don't expect you to answer that question. The point is that NOBODY has answered it yet----that is unconscionable!!!!
 

Bill

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:roll: Most of you haven't learned a darn thing from the past 2 plus years of BSE in North America. The US was basically shown to be the laughing stock of modern beef producing countries with its investigation and this was with a disease that isn't even contagious.
 

Bill

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Oldtimer said:
Broke Cowboy said:
wdcook said:
Broke Cowboy asks, "How is she tracked back to place of origin? "

The real questions are 'Why is it necessary to do so?' and 'Is it cost effective?'

Mr. Freemans' letter is excellent and the potential problems with this program he elucidates need to be fully addressed before M'ID is implemented.

My response to this is two fold.

Trace back MAY become necessary due to various health and disease control requirements. So is it necessay? I do not have an answer - I suppose I could say that I am a fence sitter.

Cost effectiveness - well, that would depend on whether or not it truly becomes necessary to trace the origin of an animal that carries a disease or that could have come into contact with a disease.

Once again I do not have an answer. I am quite up front when I say I am simply looking for answers because I freely admit I am not so sure at this time that it IS necessary. Then again - maybe it is?

If what is in place, then the animal I asked about in my original question could be traced back - or could it?

Be that as it may I also believe that whether or not we need or want this, it will come - if only to provide what export countries want. So, wdcook has chosen to ignore my question and provide a question for an answer instead.

I am quite happy with Mr. Freeman's letter - however he said that hot branding was in place and sufficient. At present I am not so sure this is a completely effective method. That is why I asked my initial question and would Either way I am in the explore mode.

Thanks,

B.C.

Broke Cowboy- I have a hard time buying the disease story sometimes...A good example would be the Canadian BSE cases- all of which originated in a "cluster" area of a part of Alberta and Saskatchewan- one found just lately that was even born post feed ban...Using the disease theory and the sound science which has been used for years- you would quarantine and isolate that area, testing all animals slaughtered from that area to find the extent of the disease and to prevent spread...
But instead the CFIA and USDA use the sound science of short term economics, change all the worlds BSE rules and say don't worry about it :???:

What good is having M-ID involving BSE?....
" one found just lately" How lately was that Oldtimer?

"Quarantine and isolate the area"? In the past few years many beef and dairy animals have left Texas, Alberta and Saskatchewan and found homes elsewhere in North America so you want a total North American quarantine?
 

PORKER

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Copy of press release ,,,,,,Instead of waiting for hours or days for animal health history – which is the stated “goal” of the proposed NAIS animal ID consortium – all field data updates, including those that are available on the animal's public page, are displayed instantly – in real time – as they occur, when and where the data is collected and uploaded – in the field or in chutes at auctions, feedlots, packing plants, and elsewhere. Only ScoringAg's system is ready and able to deliver this level of secure information in just seconds to those in need during a catastrophic event. The animal's public records page can also show other tags, brands or tattoos, or a photo of the animal if needed. This gives an additional means of animal ID when RFID ear tags are lost or stolen and only the animal's unique identifying characteristics can give positive ID.
 

Econ101

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Bill said:
:roll: Most of you haven't learned a darn thing from the past 2 plus years of BSE in North America. The US was basically shown to be the laughing stock of modern beef producing countries with its investigation and this was with a disease that isn't even contagious.

Just look who is running the show.
 

Bill

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Econ101 said:
Bill said:
:roll: Most of you haven't learned a darn thing from the past 2 plus years of BSE in North America. The US was basically shown to be the laughing stock of modern beef producing countries with its investigation and this was with a disease that isn't even contagious.

Just look who is running the show.
Econ you are the one who you have told us that Canadian producers need to get involved in making a difference instead of bitching. My point on this thread is that MID has proven itself to be a benefit in Canada (producer driven by the way) and some who posted earleir in this thread still can't see the benefits.
 

Bill

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Bill said:
Oldtimer said:
Broke Cowboy said:
My response to this is two fold.

Trace back MAY become necessary due to various health and disease control requirements. So is it necessay? I do not have an answer - I suppose I could say that I am a fence sitter.

Cost effectiveness - well, that would depend on whether or not it truly becomes necessary to trace the origin of an animal that carries a disease or that could have come into contact with a disease.

Once again I do not have an answer. I am quite up front when I say I am simply looking for answers because I freely admit I am not so sure at this time that it IS necessary. Then again - maybe it is?

If what is in place, then the animal I asked about in my original question could be traced back - or could it?

Be that as it may I also believe that whether or not we need or want this, it will come - if only to provide what export countries want. So, wdcook has chosen to ignore my question and provide a question for an answer instead.

I am quite happy with Mr. Freeman's letter - however he said that hot branding was in place and sufficient. At present I am not so sure this is a completely effective method. That is why I asked my initial question and would Either way I am in the explore mode.

Thanks,

B.C.

Broke Cowboy- I have a hard time buying the disease story sometimes...A good example would be the Canadian BSE cases- all of which originated in a "cluster" area of a part of Alberta and Saskatchewan- one found just lately that was even born post feed ban...Using the disease theory and the sound science which has been used for years- you would quarantine and isolate that area, testing all animals slaughtered from that area to find the extent of the disease and to prevent spread...
But instead the CFIA and USDA use the sound science of short term economics, change all the worlds BSE rules and say don't worry about it :???:

What good is having M-ID involving BSE?....
" one found just lately" How lately was that Oldtimer?

"Quarantine and isolate the area"? In the past few years many beef and dairy animals have left Texas,Washington State, Alberta and Saskatchewan and found homes elsewhere in North America so you want a total North American quarantine?
Oops missed one. Can't forget Washington. Care to clarify your comments Oldtimer?
 

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