Canada to implement national pig traceability

Mandatory national pig traceability system will enhance capacity to track animals from farm to slaughter.

After extensive industry consultation, Canada announced Feb. 26 that it is enhancing its capacity to track animals from farm to slaughter through a mandatory national pig traceability system. The related amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations have been published in Canada Gazette, Part II.

The regulations come into force on July 1 for all domestic pigs that are farmed for food production, including those that die on farm and cannot enter the food chain. Effective July 1, 2015, the regulations will be extended to also include farmed wild boars, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The federal government has amended the Health of Animals Regulations to require pig farmers and other pig industry custodians to keep records and report all movements of pigs, from birth or import to slaughter or export. The regulations also detail how farmed pigs and farmed wild boars are to be identified, CFIA said.

The amendments are based on a series of consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, including swine industry associations, provinces and territories and other federal departments.

CFIA noted that in Canada, mandatory identification systems are already in place for the cattle, bison and sheep sectors.

The amended regulations brings national consistency in the pig sector by building on what is already in place in some provinces, such as Alberta's Swine Traceability System that was launched in 2011.

"For many years, the Canadian hog industry has enjoyed an excellent herd health status. Animal health and foreign animal disease preparedness are key priorities for our industry and these new measures will strengthen our industry's ability to respond to any future disease outbreaks," said Oliver Haan, chair of the Canadian Pork Council's traceability implementation committee.

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