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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The State of Vermont is holding hearings this week on a plan to register all farms that raise livestock. The hope is this will make is easier to stop diseases like bird flu. Steve Tripoli says many farmers aren’t buying it.
STEVE TRIPOLI: Vermont officials say they plan to stop their effort after simply identifying which farms have which kinds of animals. Federal officials had wanted to register all animals individually, but the proposal was shelved after nationwide complaints.
Amy Shollenberger of the farm advocacy group Rural Vermont says even the state’s approach is flawed.
AMY SHOLLENBERGER:“It’s very clear that it will not work. There’s no way that we can see that the state will achieve 100% compliance.”
If all farmers don’t take part that defeats the program’s purpose.
Shollenberger says many farmers won’t take part because they fear the state won’t stop at registering farms, and any larger effort would strain small farms’ budgets.
Vermont farmers anchor the state’s big agriculture and tourism sectors. They’re likely to be out in force as hearings move around the state.
I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.
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