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Last updated 10:25AM ET
September 26, 2018
WFCR Local News
WFCR Local News
Small Farmers Concerned about Animal Registration
(wfcr) - A group representing small farmers in Massachusetts is calling on the state's new agriculture commissioner to opt out of or delay implementing a federal program to identify and register animal livestock. In a letter to commissioner Douglas Peterson, the state chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association says the costs of carrying out the national animal identification system will end up hurting small farmers. The association's Jack Kittredge.

Kittredge, who operates an organic farm in Barre, claims the i-d system was designed to reassure foreign markets that U.S. meat animal production can be traced in the event of a disease outbreak, such as mad cow or avian flu. But he says those outbreaks will more likely occur at large factory farm operations, not at small-scale farms like his. However, state agriculture officials say the i-d system is strictly voluntary and that a farm's location will be the only information passed on to U.S. department of agriculture. Scott Soares, assistant commissioner of the department of agricultural resources, says concerns that farmers will have to tag and track their entire livestock are purely speculative.
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