what the chickens have taught us

tagNow here’s a coincidence.  Just yesterday I received via email a picture of the remains of a Boise, Idaho chicken after an encounter with a neighborhood cat – there was an identification ring on the chicken’s foot.  And today there’s a post on the Urban Chickens blog about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which is an FDA-led effort that would require all livestock (including your backyard chickens) to be tagged.  Idaho is one of the states participating in a voluntary pilot project.  This is an interesting battle – we have the FDA, Big Agriculture and companies that make RFID tracking and similar technologies forging a plan that would negatively impact Slow Food, local food, and organic farming enterprises.  Aside from the burdensome costs and extra effort required to be in compliance with NAIS rules, the information gathered by the FDA would be very useful to those managing the industrial-scale food supply.  Currently, they don’t have any way of knowing how many Urban Chickens are out there, and where they’re being raised, so they probably see that as a competitive disadvantage.

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