All of the above restrict personal freedom. But most of us have conceded to some or many or all of these requirements. Convenience? Security? Protection? Necessity? Voluntary? Mandatory? We as citizens have come to appreciate there is a trade-off, the loss of individual freedom, for the benefits each of these invasions of privacy accrue.
To the point: Horses.
I brand mine. Take their picture. Keep the bill of sale and American Quarter Horse Association registration. Would I have an interest in a microchip implant that contained a GPS locator? Maybe, particularly if I pulled my horse to a lot of rodeos or horse shows. But would I like the government to pass a law that mandated a GPS locator in each of my horses? Say I was given a big brown stallion named Rattler who has a gait like a washboard road and a head like an oil pump. Say he was a gift from Uncle Jake. Say I traded him off and didn’t want Uncle Jake to know where ol’ Rattler went.
Or what if you were a new bride and wanted to go on a horseback honeymoon and would prefer your in-laws didn’t know where you went? Or what if I was a horse thief? I’d have no way to make a living! The USDA National Animal I.D. System (NAIS), as part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard U.S. animal health, has initiated a program that involves premises I.D., individual animal I.D. and animal tracking. The possibility of worldwide zoonosis (diseases passed between humans and animals) such as B.S.E., Brucellosis, T.B. and Avian Flu has risen considerably as global transportation increases.
At the present time registration in the NAIS program is voluntary, although the plan references mandatory requirements in the future. Most cattle people seem to be reluctantly conceding that the individual cattle I.D. system, GPS locator or not, is inevitable and good for business.
However, the horse owners are going to be harder to convince that a GPS locator to permit animal tracking should be mandatory. As Darlene put it, to have someone capable of tracking your whereabouts anytime you go for a ride on your horse is offensive. After all, she says, one of the reasons people love to ride horses is the feeling of freedom.
True enough, but apparently she hasn’t ridden ol’ Rattler.