Steve Willard, president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, said no issue has triggered as much controversy as the livestock tracking system and implementing it could be a "costly mistake" given the strong opposition.
The "country was built on a free enterprise system and that should not be interrupted," Willard said.
Of the 55 people who spoke in nearly four hours, only one pork producer endorsed the tracking system.
Brent Sandidge, who lives in rural Saline County about halfway between Kansas City and Jefferson City, noted that pork sales plummeted during the recent swine flu outbreak, even though pigs weren't spreading the disease. He warned other livestock producers that one infection that is not quickly contained could ruin their industries.
"I watched swine flu destroy our markets," Sandidge said before hecklers interrupted him and he stormed out of the hotel.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press