Requirements for livestock carriers: Livestock Identification and Traceability Program

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The objective of the national Livestock Identification and Traceability program is to provide accurate and up-to-date livestock identity, movement and location information to mitigate the impact of disease outbreaks, food safety issues and natural disasters.

This brochure provides an overview of federal livestock identification and traceability requirements. Note that provincial and territorial requirements may also apply.

The guidance in this brochure is not a substitute for the law. Therefore, it is important for regulated parties who use this guidance to apply it in accordance with and within the context of the applicable sections of Part XV (Animal Identification) of the Health of Animals Regulations.

Overview of general requirements

It is prohibited to transport cattle, bison and sheep that do not bear an approved tag.

Lost tags during transport

You can continue to transport an animal that has lost its approved tag while being transported.

Identifying dead stock

Cattle, bison and sheep dead stock must be identified with an approved tag if they are moved off the farm of origin (or from any other site after having left the farm of origin) for disposal.

Pig dead stockdo not need to be identified with an approved tag or approved slap tattoo, but they shall be accompanied by required information outlined in this brochure.

Overview of requirements specific to cattle, bison and sheep

Cattle, bison and sheep do not need to be identified with an approved tag while living on their farm of origin.

However, you cannot transport cattle, bison or sheep off their farm of origin (or any other site after they have left their farm of origin) unless they bear an approved tag.

The only exception to this requirement is for live cattle and bison that are sent to a tagging site listed on the web site of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.

Overview of requirements specific to pigs

Transporting pigs

Please note that requirements for pigs also apply to farmed wild boars.

What are the requirements when I move pigs between contiguous part of the same farm?

The pigs are not required to be identified with an approved tag or approved slap tattoo nor being accompanied with information on a form.

What are the requirements when I move pigs between parts of a farm that are not contiguous or between different farms?

The pigs are not required to be identified with an approved tag if

  • they are accompanied by a form that can be immediately read by an inspector, and
  • the operators of both the departure and destination sites report the animals' movements to the Canadian Pork Council (their responsible administrator).

Exception: Bred pigs must be identified with approved tags with a number unique to the animal before they leave the departure site.

What are the requirements when I move pigs between farms that are registered as linked?

The pigs are not required to be identified with an approved tag unless they are bred pigs. There is no requirement to have information accompanying their movements

What are the requirements when I move pigs to sites such as auctions, fairs or insemination centres?

The pigs must be identified with an approved tag before they leave the departure site; the number on the approved tag must be unique to each pig.

What are the requirements when I move pigs to assembly yards used exclusively to collect pigs before sending them directly to slaughter?

The pigs must be identified either with an approved tag or an approved slap tattoo before they leave the farm.

The approved tag can either be a herd mark (identification number that is unique to the site of departure) or an individual identification number that is unique to each pig.

What are the requirements when I move pigs directly from a farm to an abattoir?

The pigs must be identified either with an approved tag with a number unique to the animal, an approved tag with a herd mark or an approved slap tattoo.

In all cases where you are transporting pigs that are required to be identified, you must make sure they are bearing the proper identification before loading them in the conveyance.

Overview of the requirements for the form accompanying pigs

There are two circumstances where information collected on a form must accompany pigs and pig carcasses:

  • the transportation of pigs that are not bred pigs between non-contiguous parts of a farm or between farms
  • the transportation of pig carcasses to any site.

The form can be either electronic or paper, provided that

  • all of the required information is clearly indicated, and
  • it can be easily read by an inspector.

The form needs to contain the following information:

  • the location of the sites where you are loading the pigs AND where you are unloading them;
  • the identification number on any approved tag applied to the pigs;
  • the date and time you left the departure site;
  • in the case of live animals, the number of pigs that you are transporting; and
  • the license plate of the conveyance being used.

For additional information on the regulatory requirements and on Canada's Livestock Identification and Traceability Program, please visit the CFIA website.

Definitions

Herd mark:
identification number unique to a site that may be borne by a group of pigs originating from that site.
Approved tag:
Refers to tags approved under the livestock identification and traceability program and listed on the CFIA website.
Bred:
Animals that are mated either naturally or artificially or that has provided semen, ova or embryos for reproduction.
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