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back to article Amish farmers lose court battle against RFID

Michigan farmers have failed in their attempt to block the introduction of RFID tags for cattle, despite arguments about the cost and the risk of upsetting an otherwise benevolent deity. The case was bought by the catchily-named Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defence Fund (FTCLDF), representing small farmers in Michigan as well as a …

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Bronze badge
Boffin

Revelation 13:16, ear not applicable

Hey, farmers, it says that the mark shall be on the right hand or the forehead. That means that marking the ear is OK. So to be covered under Rev 13:16, the mark (brand?) would be on the right forehoof or on the forehead. And if the number is 665 or 667, it doesn't count. No fudging on the off-by-one errors.

Is the beast's number in octal?

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solution waiting for a problem

... we've been farming cattle for thousands of years.

I would bet that we have been counting those cattle for just as long.

Is it a case of "if it aint broke, dont fix it with an expensive piece of controverstial technology"

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Anonymous Coward

We know where your cattle are...

...aliens abduct cows and therefore being able to track them is of vital national secuity importance.

Or do the alients just mutilate them. I can never remeber.

The Defra people doesn't really seem to understand where Farm Holdings are located anyway, and having seen some of the mangled data they pump back to the farmers from their systems its like their database tables have a shuffle feature or something....

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Piccies, or it didn't happen!

I mean, it's Friday. I'm just saying...

-dZ.

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Gates Horns

616 is the number of the beast

At least according to QI :)

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IT Angle

Religious weirdo's

Ha-ha, point finger & say NOT IT!

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Silver badge

Fair enough

The Law of the Land cannot give special dispensation for certain religious groups.

"Because my imaginary friend says so" isn't a valid reason for flying aeroplanes into buildings or taking exploding rucksacks on buses, and it isn't a valid reason for not complying with safety requirements intended to prevent the spread of animal diseases. If the Amish want to sell their cattle on the open market, they have to comply with the rules of the market.

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Flame

If it ain't broke

You say that now, but when that first cow full of mad cow prions hits your plate you'll be whinging a different tune through the holes in your brain.

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Defence/Defense

I'm wondering about the grammatical rules for American/British spelling. The real name of the organization referred to in the article is:

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF)

not

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defence Fund (FTCLDF)

Shouldn't we use the spelling used by individual or group itself? UK Ministry of Defence, US Defense Department ?

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And the number of the beast.....

.....was 666

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Silver badge

More than just RFID...

http://www.cowdetect.com/index.php?page=41

Now it'll tell you exactly where they are.

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Silver badge

Please explain ...

Do the Amish believe dead christians will starve if all the cattle go to hell?

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Big Brother

Progress dear Jeremy, Progress

not so much the application of controverstial <sic> technology, more like Ug the Caveman didn't have 20,000 head feed lots back in the 'Good Ole Days'

big trailer of soon to be Maccies + RFID = easy off load at the Happy Hills Slaughter House

BToSTBM - RFID = counting them all out and countering them all back in again, tag number inspections of somewhat stressed animals weighing ton and a bit upwards

Now do as you're told and get tagging your kids.

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Silver badge
Boffin

@Brian Miller

If the number were actually in octal (and 666 qualifies as valid octal), it would compute to 438. Using hexadecimal, the number becomes 1638. And just for the UNIX geeks out there, plugging a file (or cow) with this as a permission code gives read and write but not execute/search control to everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

hmm

The problem with the amish, probably isnt so much with the numbering, but with the fact that the numbering will be done by electronic devices.

The government wants to be able to track cattle from birth to store in case of any outbreaks. This way, if there is some kind of outbreak, they can trace it back to the source.

Now if you were to use a metal tag to number, this would not interfere with the amish belef system, however using an electronic tag would.

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Tuberculosis is being monitored!

Michigan is the ONLY state to have cows infected with the cow versions of tuberculosis - and that variety of tuberculosis can spread to humans very easily.

There is a serious health need to know when cows are being moved from an infected area to a non-infected one.

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Silver badge
Megaphone

Religious whacksters make me laugh

You can't do this, you can't do that.....no rubber chickens on a thursday....no hair cuts...

Mental disease.

End of.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Silver badge

Problem solved - re'Hmm'

AC has clearly put the case 'Now if you were to use a metal tag to number, this would not interfere with the amish belef system, however using an electronic tag would.'

The next logical step is that the Amish apparently eschew lifestyles associated with modern innovation, so they would have to give up cattle farming and revert to growing wheat.

I'd like to see someone stick an RFID in the ear of every wheat plant.

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@ A J Stiles

But what if one Law of the Land interferes with ANOTHER Law of the Land?

As far as the Amish are concerned, shunning technology is a fundamental tenet of their religion (and since it's Christian in nature, it's considered a recognized religion), and a little something called the First Amendment mentions that Congress cannot make a law that impinges on one's free practice of religion (provided that religion is recognized and does not involve actions that involve interfering with the fundamental rights of others).

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Bronze badge

...shaky ground?

Did the judge mean Shaker ground?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers

But, they believed in celibacy, so there aren't many left now. (Four, at last count). Darwin award icon?

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Alien

Aye OK is what I say

If it works for animals then even better for us. With people catching pig diseases then we should be tagged too. If you make the O for OK with your thumb and first finger you are making three overlapping 6's with the rest of your hand.

666

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Thumb Down

RE: hmm

Yes, I'm also perturbed by this, I'm normally very anti-religious but mainly reserve my ammo for religions that try to violently enforce their beliefs on people who do not believe the same.

My hunch is that they should be left alone, or an alternative system offered which ensures the same result.

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Go

The Number of the Beast

According to Robert Heinlein, the number is ((6 to the power of 6)to the power of 6).

This is 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056

This why they need the chip. A number that size would never fit on an ear tag!

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Not quite

>The Law of the Land cannot give special dispensation for certain religious groups.

Not that clear cut. Start with, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." and extend it by state constitutions with similiar language, statutes, and case laws.

In general that means that government regulations are not extended to religous organizations, if it conflicts with the self declared religious principles, unless there is a compelling public safety purpose.

So Planning & Zoning regulations and architectual style codes do not apply to churches and associated buildings, building codes do. A city can't tell a church where they may build a church or how big it is or what materials are used to side it, but they can tell them how to build it so it doesn't fall down in an earthquake or trap occupants if it catches on fire.

Perhaps the most tangible aspect is the tax exemptions enjoyed on most church income and property. It's not that government exempts them because they consider them useful social institutions (indeed, such a finding would likely place it in conflict with the 1st), but they are exempted since taxation represents undue influence and control by government beyond the needs of public safety on a religous establishment.

There are a myriad of other exemptions provided based on sincere religous beliefs. Concientious objector status from military service and (many state's) exempting mandatory school attendance till the age of 16 (allowing instead formal education to end at the 8th grade, about 13) are two the Amish enjoy. Exemption from the Social Security Insurance system is yet another religous based "perk" for the Amish.

There are few if any "Class 1" Amish dairies, Class 1 being those that produce fluid milk to be marketed for human consumption. That's due to public safety requirements of how to milk, clean equipment, and store milk. There are many Class 2 dairies which serve the cheese producing market and have lower sanitary standards, but even here many of the more conservative Amish are finding tightening regulations more then they're willing to accept.

In this whole context, a specific technology like RFIDs could be given an exemption provided a reasonable alternative (metal ear tags) meet the public safety needs.

There is a larger issue with NAIS, which is it is simply security theater. The problem with infectious animal diseases, particularly their economic impact, is largely borne by industrialized farms. We've been controlling diseases like TB and Foot & Mouth quite nicely using paperwork for decades.

Instead of asking the fundamental question whether single dairies should have 1000 head of cattle under one roof or a beef feed lot should have tens of thousands of head of cattle wallowing in their own filth for months on end, the USDA decides the solution to the problem is better tracking. No, the solution is diversifying and deintensifying the farms -- yes, it has an economic impact that our food might cost marginally a bit more. It would also mean an system fundamentally less vulnerable to disease, weather, and attacks; if we paid the same share of our income for food as we did in 1970 we'd probably eat much healthier and we would have the mythical American family farm actually doing quite well financially -- any farmer of ordinary ability could enjoy a middle class income. Instead we have overly industrialized processes more vulnerable to diseases and other risks along with negative rural social policy impacts, and instead of addressing this sucking chest wound the USDA in bureaucratic fashion is telling people they have to wear oxygen masks to compensate.

I'm no birken stock wearing slow food maven. But there is a happy middle ground between over concentrated, over industrialized owned or controlled by relatively few corporations and some hippy vision of organic farms with cows who willingly sacrifce themselves to their benovolent master's needs. NAIS is just useless window dressing.

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the real problem?

are these the sort of RFID implants normally used on animals (most pets etc have them)? which i could see religious groups having an issue with (hypocritical as it is if you're planning on cutting them up and eating them anyway!)

or are they just adding RFID to existing external tags? and if the former, is there any reason the latter can't be used instead?

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Anonymous Coward

re: hmm #

Amish don't do electronics. If the did, they wouldn't be Amish.

Apparently some of these Amish have got a fairish business going selling non growth hormone non antibiotic soaked cheeseburger kits.

They already use a perfectly good non-electronic tracking system on these cheesebuger kits.

Complying with this order and keeping their religious beliefs puts them out of the cheeseburger business.

How much of a market share can a handful of animal-power-tech cow gardeners take away from the biggies to rate this kind of treatment?

That's some pretty petty cowshit.

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Coat

No No No

They've got it all wrong. Sod the cows. What they should be concentrating on is implanting RFID chips into anyone from a rural area. And anyone who believes that prayer cures diabetes.

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Terminator

Welcome to the machine

Cattle, children, what's the difference to our silicon-based Overlords? Pretty soon, computers will be able to track every man, woman, and child from the cradle to the grave. This will enable our human Overseers to protect us from our own bad decisions ( SUVs, Big Macs, speed limits, caloric intake, sodium intake, excess energy / water usage, viewing indecent images, spiting, swearing, etc, etc, etc) until our metallic Overlords achieve self-awareness and take over everything. It much better than the anarchy that some unenlightened people call "freedom".

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Silver badge

Today Cows/Steers/Bulls

Tomorrow humans? The way they are talking about government health plans in this (USA) country, it may come to that!

Then again, I would like to be able to trace my food (*SIGH*).

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Stop

What I want to know is ...

.... where's their passport!!!!!!

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@Revelation 13:16, ear not applicable

Perhaps not, but watch out for the guy who rents apartment 29A.

Note: This is 666 in HEX - coincidence? I THINK NOT!

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Jobs Horns

Cattle Today - All Humans Tomorrow

Alex Jones is going to loose it on his show today.

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