Livestock Identification and Traceability Program (TRACE) – Regulatory update 5

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants to enhance the health and well-being of Canadians, the environment and economy.

Livestock traceability is the ability to follow an animal or group of animals during all stages of its life. There are three main pillars to livestock traceability systems:

  • identification of livestock with an approved indicator
  • identification of premises where livestock are kept, assembled or disposed of; and
  • reporting events related to livestock such as movement of animals from one premises to another

The goal of the livestock traceability system is to provide timely, accurate and relevant information to reduce the impacts of a disease outbreak, food safety issue or natural disasters originating from and/or affecting livestock.

The Livestock Identification and Traceability Program (TRACE) has been administered jointly by CFIA and industry since 2001. The program is regulated and enforced under Part XV of the Health of Animals Regulations, made under the authority of the Health of Animals Act.


Topic: Reporting animal movements

The objective of the TRACE Newsletter is to provide an overview of progress on proposed amendments to Part XV of the federal Health of Animals Regulations (hereafter referred to the "Regulations") that pertains to livestock identification and traceability. This fifth edition focuses on one of the key elements of the regulatory proposal: reporting animal movements.

Why are amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations being proposed

The CFIA is proposing amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations to strengthen Canada's livestock traceability system. The proposed federal traceability regulations would require, amongst other things, reporting the animal movement to a responsible administrator for a location where, for example an animal has been received or slaughtered.

Why is reporting animal movements important

A traceability system with information on an animal's movements from one point to another throughout the supply chain will make it easier to control the spread of disease and minimize the impact on the industry. The proposed amendments are expected to strengthen Canada's ability in responding quickly to health threats and other emergencies.

What information related to the movement of animals and carcasses is important in managing health issues

The information needed to manage health issues and that would be required to be reported are referred to the "data requirements"; these requirements are described in the table below.

Table 1. Proposed data requirements required to be reported
Data requirements Rationale for making this information available
Identification number on an approved indicator applied to the animal or carcass Movement information associated with the identity of a specific animal or group of animals allows confirmation of which animals have been slaughtered, imported or exported or may have been impacted with a health issue;
Identification number of the premises (site) of departure and of destination Provides a geographical representation of a health issue and enables identifying where the disease may have spread;
Date and time at which animals were loaded and unloaded from a vehicle Enables time-stamping in conjunction with animal contact information which could be used to determine the sequence at which vehicles were used and consequently improve accuracy of which sites may have been impacted by a disease outbreak;
License plate number or other identification of the vehicle's non-motorized trailer. Despite cleaning and disinfection measures, vehicles may serve as a disease vector. Knowing their usage serves assessing where the disease may have spread.

What would be the proposed requirements specific to animal movement (data requirements outlined above)

Table 2. Proposed requirements specific to animal movement
Animal movement scenario Proposed reporting requirements

Domestic movement of animals within a farm

The movement of ruminants would not be required to be reported

The current movement reporting requirements for pigs would remain unchanged.

Domestic movement of animals to a farm

The operator of the farm would report the receipt of ruminants, with the exception of cervids, at their site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of receiving the animals.

The current movement reporting requirements for pigs would remain unchanged.

Domestic movement of animals from a farm

The operator of the farm would report the departure of cervids from their site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of the departure of the cervids.

The current movement reporting requirements for pigs would remain unchanged.

Domestic movement of animals to a fair, an exhibition hall, or a feedlot The operator of the fair, exhibition hall or feedlot would report the receipt of animals at their site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of receiving the animals.
Domestic movement of animals to an auction market or an assembly yard The operator of the auction market or assembly yard would report the receipt of animals at their site within seven days of receiving the animals, namely the data requirements with the exception that instead of reporting the identification number of an approved indicator applied to the animal or carcass, the operator would report the quantity of animals received and their species.
Domestic movement of animals to a community pasture

The operator of any site from where animals are moved (with or without being loaded into a vehicle) to a community pasture would report the departure of animals from their site within seven days of the animals' departure, namely the following information: the premises identification numbers of the departure site and of the community pasture; the date the animals departed from the departure site; the species of animals transported or moved and the number of animals of each species; and the licence plate number of the conveyance (if applicable).

The operator of the community pasture would be exempt from reporting movement information.

Domestic movement of animals to an abattoir

The operator of an abattoir would report the slaughter of animals at their site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of slaughtering the animals.

Moreover, the operator would be required to report the departure of live animals from the site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of the departure.

These requirements would apply to all abattoirs (federal, provincial or municipal inspection, mobile abattoirs)

Domestic movement of carcasses to a rendering plant or deadstock collection centre

The operator of rendering plant or deadstock collection centre would report the receipt of carcasses at their site, namely the data requirements, within seven days of disposing the carcasses.

The current movement reporting requirements for pig carcasses would remain.

Import, export of animals Importers and exporters would report the import or export of animals, namely the data requirements, within seven days of importing or exporting the animals. However, instead of reporting the premises identification number of a foreign location where animals were imported from or exported to, the importer or exporter would report the country and sub-division of that country (e.g. State of the United States) from where the animals were imported or exported. Date and time of loading in a vehicle at a location outside Canada would not be required to be reported.

Supporting compliance for proposed requirements

Operators will not be required to use an electronic reader in order to report the identification number of an approved indicator.

Building on current provincial and federal requirements, carriers would be required to provide information to the operator of the destination on the source of animals.

Operators of a farm, a feedlot, or an agricultural fair who choose to use an electronic reader favourably reviewed by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to read the identification number of an approved indicator will be required to report the identification number of indicators read on the first pass, but not those not read.

When can I comment on the proposed regulations

Following the publication of the proposed regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, stakeholders will have 75 days to review and provide comment. The CFIA will review and consider all comments received prior to finalizing the regulation amendments and publishing them in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Definitions

Animals
means a bison, cattle, caprine, cervid, pig or sheep.
Caprine (goat)
means an animal, other than an embryo or fertilized egg, of the genus Capra.
Cervid (deer, elk)
means an animal, other than an embryo or fertilized egg, of the family Cervidae.
Community pasture
means a pasture that is managed by or leased from the Government of Canada, a provincial government or a municipality, or owned by, managed by or leased from a community pasture association, a grazing association or a grazing cooperative, and where animals from more than one operator of a farm are assembled and commingled.
Domestic
means within Canada.
Farm
means land, and all buildings and other structures on that land, that is used under one management for breeding or raising animals, but does not include an artificial insemination unit.
Reporting
means providing set information to a responsible administrator (i.e. Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, Canadian Pork Council or Agri-Traçabilité Québec).
Ruminant
means a bison, cattle, goat, cervid or sheep.
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