The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has called on the Obama administration to permanently halt a USDA proposed rule which would effectively mandate the implementation of the first two stages of the National Animal Identification System.

The Official Animal Identification Numbering Systems proposed rule was published in the Federal Register Jan. 13. 

“The APHIS regulation is further evidence of the department’s unrelenting effort to make a so called voluntary program mandatory, and it should be permanently stopped by the new administration,” said Pete Kennedy, acting Fund president.

“This effort by the former Bush administration is yet another back-door attempt to circumvent the will of the U.S. Congress which has repeatedly failed to pass legislation making NAIS mandatory and the will of four separate state legislatures that have passed legislation explicitly prohibiting the mandatory implementation of NAIS,” said Kennedy.

The Fund filed suit last year against the USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to stop the mandatory implementation of NAIS. 

According to the group’s Web site, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization recognized under the Internal Revenue Code as a Section 501(c)(4) and is classified as a "social welfare" organization, which means it must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare.