Cattle tag deadline nearing

By Gary Sliworsky, Ag rep, Emo

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is reminding producers that as of Jan. 1, 2010, all cattle must be tagged with approved CCIA radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.
“It is important that we implement RFID technology across the board as this will enable us to move forward on traceability,” said Steve Primrose, chair of the CCIA and owner of Primrose Livestock Ltd.
“Of the three pillars of traceability, we have achieved animal identification,” he noted.
“Once we have completed the second pillar—premises identification—the industry will require RFID technology to support the reporting of animal movement.”
RFID tags have been the only approved tags available to be issued for cattle since Sept. 1, 2006. However, producers were allowed (until Dec. 31, 2009) to phase out bar code tags for mature breeding stock and bulls.
Already applied bar code tags should be left in the animal’s ear and a RFID tag also must be applied to that animal once bar code tags are no longer approved.
The producers should cross-reference the bar code tag with the new RFID tag in the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS). This is strongly recommended to ensure the integrity of the traceability system is maintained.
If producers need assistance to cross-reference the tags, they can call 1-877-909-BEEF (2333).
On the recommendation of CCIA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will de-list bar code tags from the approved tag list effective Jan. 1, 2010.
As a result, after Dec. 31, 2009, producers must apply an RFID tag and should cross-reference the bar code with the new RFID tag in the CLTS.
The CFIA is responsible for enforcing the national identification requirements under the Health of Animals Regulations. Compliance is the goal and CFIA inspectors regularly inspect cattle at various sites.
National identification and traceability are important tools for disease management purposes and food safety problems.
The CFIA is committed to ensure that the integrity of the national identification program is maintained through vigorous inspection for animals not bearing approved tags.
It will continue to enforce sections 176 and 177, which prohibit the sending, transportation, or reception of a bovine animal without an approved tag.
Dates to remember
•Oct. 3–Cattle sale, Stratton sales barn, 9:30 a.m.

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