Canada's Safe and Abundant Food Supply Gets Even Stronger

- New Animal ID and Traceability Regulations Key to Maintaining Public Confidence in the System –

ARMSTRONG, BC, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Changes are coming to Canada's Health of Animals Act that will strengthen regulations around animal identification and traceability. Traceability systems are important, effective tools that can be used for many purposes, including the protection of animal health, public health and food safety. The changes are expected to be finalized in 2018 and will apply to more livestock groups, including cattle, sheep and goats among others. Pigs are already working under a full traceability system.

Under the new regulations livestock producers will be required to tag each animal with a unique identification number and track movement when it leaves the farm for finishing, processing, etc. The ability to track an animal through its production cycle is a key component in maintaining public confidence in Canada's food system.

Why should consumers care?

Consumers have a high expectation re food safety, public health, and animal health. And though Canada already enjoys one of the safest food systems in the world – in part because of government regulations, food production innovations and safety programs that protect public health – authorities are always looking for ways to improve it. The changes will help further protect consumers from preventable food safety hazards and manage food safety outbreaks.

For the livestock industry, the new traceability regulations will improve their ability to protect farms and others in the value chain in the event of animal disease outbreaks.  Components of the new regulations could also help protect farms during environmental incidents such as floods, where premises identification and GPS mapping can allow for improved response times and more efficient communications, enabling producers to act quickly.

"We're working hard to make sure that goat producers will be ready to begin complying with the new regulations as soon as they are in place, if not before then," says Linda Underwood, President of the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF). "These regulations apply to all goat producers, regardless of the size of the operation, so it's important for us to be getting the word out now."

"We welcome these changes as traceability is an important part of what makes our food system secure," she says. Linda adds, "Traceability also provides the means to increase market share for domestic and international markets by creating confidence in the attributes of Canadian products. That's something that's important to our producers as well."

CNGF consulted extensively with other livestock groups in helping to develop the new regulations for goat producers, including pigs and cattle. The Federation also ran a voluntary ID and traceability program over the past few years and considered the learnings from that program in its recommendations.

Goat producers who want more information about the coming regulations can contact the Canadian National Goat Federation at www.cangoats.com

This project has been funded through the Assurance stream of AgriMarketing program under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial agreement.

SOURCE Canadian National Goat Federation

For further information: Lorraine Stevenson-Hall, Traceability Project Manager, CNGF, info@cangoats.com, 1.888.839.4271

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Canadian National Goat Federation

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