- Confidentiality: The information maintained in the databases could have been sought by people under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or similar state statutes. They could be subpoenaed by a court in litigation. This would provide names, addresses, phone numbers, information about where animals are transported, housed, sold, etc.
- Liability: These records, if released, could lead to liabilty for producers in cases where an illness arose. Because they would track an animal at every location it might have ever been, producers who did nothing wrong, and then sold the animal could still have been subject to lawsuit. Even if they were eventually found to be free of fault, the cost of this kind of suit could be enough to put a producer out of business.
- Costs: The government requirements of keeping records, tagging animals and reporting statistics would have fallen entirely on the producer. This would have been seriously problematic for family operations. Many of these family operations involve several types of livestock, and the owners might have hundreds or thousands of animals. The costs of implementing the NAIS requirements could have been monumental.
The NAIS being cancelled is a great example of what can happen when producers ban together. People and orgnizations spoke out about these, and other, problems with the NAIS. It took six years, but the government listened. Producers need to be willing to make noise and oppose programs, regulations, laws....whatever is out there that is harmful for our industry. When we join forces, we can make positive things happen!