Thursday, November 1, 2007

NAIS: Response from Senator Martinez

Using the contact information from Phelan's post, I recently emailed both of my state's senators about the NAIS issue, to express my desire that they consider the implications of this issue and not support mandatory IDs, etc. This is the response I received a day ago from the office of Florida Senator Martinez's office.

I'm going to be resubmitting another email in response. My husband is dubious about whether they're actually reading their emails, or just passing it off and sending a pre-generated response. Nevertheless, I'll be sending something back.

I'd appreciate any perspectives and insights from anyone out there about what the response his office wrote (below)...I'd like to write back soon. I'll also be looking at the links his people sent. I just want to make sure I don't miss some key elements to include in the correspondence.

It's my first attempt EVER to contact government about any issue. I'm not rusty at this...I'm entirely new at it. Maybe it's sad that it's taken this long in my life to stir me to do something "officially" but hey, better late than never? :)

All comments on this are very welcome...

Below is a response to the recent comments I received from you:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Animal Identification
System. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your
concerns.Animal identification (ID) was developed in order to maintain a
tracking system of individuals or groups of commercially and privately owned

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated the
implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in 2004 as a
voluntary program for animal owners. Although there is not a nationwide animal
ID system yet in place, the main objective of the USDA's NAIS program is to
standardize animal ID use in order to promote animal health, human health, food
safety, and quality assurance. In recent years, the threat of international
animal diseases has increased, and we must create a system to keep this problem
under control.

The NAIS was developed to curtail the potential spread of
diseases. This program is not meant to invade the privacy of any individual.
Tracking animals, including exhibition animals and pets, is meant to prevent the
spread of diseases, such as the avian flu virus or mad cow disease. As you may
already know, the 2006 Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies
Appropriation Act (H.R. 2744) was signed into law (P.L. 109-97) by President
Bush on November 10, 2005. This bill provides over $33.3 million for the NAIS

If you would like more information on NAIS, I encourage you to visit the
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website at any
related legislation be introduced in the 109th Congress, I will be sure to keep
your thoughts in mind.

Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If you
have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to
Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at

Sincerely,Mel MartinezUnited States


Anonymous said...

Hi Robbyn,

What you received from Senator Martinez is a typical 'canned' response from someone who has been 'informed' by the USDA line, and has not taken the time to uncover what is really behind the move to NAIS. If you would like to arm yourself with more information, I suggest that you visit and see the documentation there that makes clear that the motives behind this program are far from honest. You might be able to use some of the information in your reply to him. He obviously buys the 'it's for our own good' rhetoric, but doesn't realize that it will negatively affect not only the smaller farmers, but anyone who likes to eat!

Pat in WA State

Mike (planbe) said...

Looks like (and most likely is) a canned response. Normally the way they handle these thing is to collect them all together into some sort of statistical analysis like "1037 people expressed concern that the moon would turn to green cheese, 12 people were worried about the green aliens, 42 people thought that the ID system fails to protect animal health,..." so that, at the end of it all, the Broken Reed knows which way to blow in the wind (modulo the influence of Talking Money. ;-)

Keep writing! Get more points of concern into their stats database. Of course at the end of the day its a politician we're talking about, so, "How do we know when a politician is lying?..."

Robbyn said...

Thank you Pat and Mike :) You're right about the canned response.

And I don't much like canned things :)

I guess the process is to keep on trying...and I suppose that much as was the case when I was teaching, reviewing the facts again and again to try to get them clearly into words only helps to better clarify them for myself, too.

Yes, Mike, it's politicians we're talking about here. I'm a cynic about the ultimate effectiveness of projecting more feedback into their "machine" ...but I guess there's time to be a squeaky wheel... in hopes :)

Valerie said...


Most definitely a canned response. Go to the following websites for tons of great information.

Keep on fighting. Also work on your local representatives. I too have never done anything like this before.

Good luck.


Phelan said...

The above people are correct. You will never get a reply from the Senator's themselves. But if many people write on the same subject, then the Senator will know what is a concern. Write back. Even if it is canned, you can have a dialog. Go look at my lastes post. It talks about each diease and how this program will not help it. Even have qoutes from aphis, and the CDC. Follow my links and it will tell you more. Keep in mind that most diseases are carried by insects and deers.

oh, and you so rock!