Amish Blast ID Cow Chips as 'Mark of the Beast'

Farmers sue USDA over Michigan's mandatory tag program
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2008 3:44 AM CST
An Amish voter leaves the Leacock Township polling station after casting his ballot in Intercourse, Pa., on Election Day.   (AP Photo/Vinny Tennis)
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(Newser) – A group of Amish farmers has launched a federal lawsuit against the USDA claiming that electronic ID tags on cattle are the mark of Satan himself, not merely of the Michigan Animal Identification System, Wired reports. The farmers say the mandatory program, aimed at tracking livestock diseases, violates the "dominion over cattle and all living things" they believe God has granted them.

Some Amish say they are so strongly opposed to the radio frequency identification tags that they may have to quit farming if no exemption is granted. The Bush administration is calling for the lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that the federal cattle chipping program is voluntary and the farmers should take their beef to the Michigan authorities who made it mandatory.