On Oct. 5, Lactanet Canada launched DairyTrace, a national dairy cattle traceability program for dairy farmers in Canada.
Designed and built to be a centralized national system for the management of all dairy cattle traceability data, DairyTrace will provide protection to the Canadian dairy industry in the event of an animal health emergency, an announcement said.
Lactanet is a farmer-run organization serving more than 7,000 Canadian dairy producers from coast to coast. In addition to the DairyTrace program, Lactanet provides dairy herd management services such as milk recording, genetic evaluations, software sales and support, health and disease lab diagnostics and knowledge transfer.
Alongside the traceability module of Dairy Farmers of Canada's (DFC) proAction initiative, DairyTrace will support the dairy industry by protecting the economic livelihood of dairy producers, the group said. As dairy farmers embrace the system and report their traceability data, a significant benefit will be state-of-the-art traceback capabilities in the event of an emergency or animal health crisis, Lactanet said.
In Canada, traceability affects more than 1.4 million dairy cattle on 10,000-plus farms. Lactanet and DFC have been working collaboratively since 2016 toward a "common vision of a national dairy cattle traceability program." By harmonizing data under a common national framework, DairyTrace will also promote information sharing and potentially add value to research and genetics initiatives, all while aligning with the traceability module of DFC's proAction program.
DairyTrace includes two new traceability tools: a mobile app and online database portal that will streamline and simplify the recording and reporting of animal identification and movement. In addition to these tools offering convenience and efficiency, the DairyTrace launch includes the release of a modern national website at www.DairyTrace.ca that hosts information for dairy producers, other custodians of dairy cattle and consumers.
Under federal regulations and/or proAction requirements, Canadians who own or have the possession, care or control of dairy cattle must record and report animal identity, movement, location and custodianship information.
"DairyTrace has been developed to provide dairy farmers with easy-to-use tools for managing their traceability obligations," said dairy producer Gert Schrijver, chair of Lactanet's DairyTrace Advisory Committee. "All dairy farmers will also have access to a one-stop-shop for ordering their tags and receiving full customer support from the DairyTrace customer services and National Livestock Identification for Dairy program offered through Holstein Canada or from Agri-Traçabilité Québec in the province of Quebec, where producers have successfully practiced this traceability model for many years using the SimpliTRACE system."
Also, to accommodate non-producer affiliates outside Quebec, such as abattoirs, assembly yards and auction facilities, exchange systems have been built so that information is funneled into the DairyTrace database, which will give affiliates the option of using the new DairyTrace system or the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency's Canadian Livestock Tracking System.
In June 2020, Lactanet Canada was recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as the national responsible administrator for traceability of dairy bovine animals under Part XV of the Health of Animals Regulations. DairyTrace is the national traceability program, administered by Lactanet Canada, located in Guelph, Ont., and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Que. DairyTrace serves all dairy producers from coast to coast, along with affiliate organizations and industry partners.
DairyTrace is managed by Lactanet's board of directors, with input and collaboration from DFC.