Requirements for Livestock Producers: Livestock Identification and Traceability Program

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

PDF (212 kb)
(Second Version)

The objective of the national Livestock Identification and Traceability program is to provide accurate and up-to-date livestock identity, movement and location information to mitigate the impact of disease outbreaks, food safety issues and natural disasters.

This brochure provides an overview of the federal livestock identification and traceability requirements. Provincial and territorial requirements may also apply.

The guidance in this brochure is not a substitute for the law. Therefore, it is important for regulated parties who use this guidance to apply it in accordance with and within the context of the applicable sections of Part XV (Animal Identification) of the Health of Animals Regulations.

Overview of requirements for cattle, bison and sheep

Identifying Animals

Cattle, bison and sheep need to be identified with an approved tag before leaving their farm of origin.

What if I do not have proper equipment to safely identify cattle or bison on my farm?

You can move your cattle or bison to an approved tagging site to be identified. You will need to get the approved tags for your animals, and bring them with the animals to the operator of the tagging site.

What if I receive cattle, bison or sheep that are not identified with an approved tag?

You must apply an approved tag to animals received that have no tag, have an approved tag that has been revoked or that have lost their approved tag.

You may only apply approved tags that have been issued to your site.

What records do I need to keep when I apply a new tag to those animals?

  • the identification number of the new tag; and
  • enough information about the animal to be able to trace its origin, or as much information as you have available.

You must keep these records for a minimum of two years.

What if I need to apply a new tag to an animal or to dead stock that already bears an approved or revoked tag?

You must report the number of the new approved tag and the number of the previously approved tag to the responsible administrator within 30 days of the new tag being applied.

What are the tagging requirements for cattle, bison and sheep dead stock?

They must be identified with an approved tag if you move them off a site, including the farm of origin, for disposal.

If you dispose of cattle, bison or sheep bearing an approved or revoked tag on farm, you must report it to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days.

Overview of requirements for sheep

What records do I need to keep if I remove sheep that are 18 months or older off of my farm?

  • the identification number on the sheep's approved tag;
  • the date the sheep was moved;
  • the reason the sheep was moved; and
  • the name and address of the owner or person that will have possession, care or control of the sheep at its new location.

These requirements do not apply to sheep that are transported directly from the farm to an abattoir registered under federal or provincial regulations.

What records do I need to keep if I receive sheep on my farm for breeding purposes?

  • the identification number of the sheep's approved tag;
  • the date you received the sheep on your farm; and
  • the name and address of the owner or person who had possession, care or control of the sheep at its previous location.

You must keep these records for a minimum of five years.

Overview of requirements for pigs and farmed wild boars

Identifying Animals

What are the tagging requirements for pigs and farmed wild boars?

By default, all pigs must be identified with an approved tag bearing an identification number unique to the animal before being moved domestically from a site.

The exceptions are as follows:

  • pigs moved from one part of the farm to another contiguous part of the same farm do not need to be identified
  • pigs transported to an abattoir, either directly or via an assembly yard, may be identified with an approved tag bearing a herd mark, or an approved slap tattoo
  • non-bred pigs moved within the farm or to another farm do not need to be identified if their movement is reported by both the operator of the departure site and of the destination site

What are the tagging requirements for pig dead stock?

You are not required to identify pig dead stock whether they are disposed of on-farm or are to be transported off-site for disposal.

Movement reporting requirements for pigs

What information do I need to report when I send pigs from my farm to a new site?

You do not need to report the movement of pigs within the same parcel of land or to a contiguous parcel of land on the same farm.

Under the federal Health of Animals Regulations, custodians of:

These are the "responsible administrators" for these two groups of livestock.

However, you must report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days of moving animals to a new location:

  • the location of the departure site and the destination site;
  • the date and time that the conveyance carrying the pigs left your farm;
  • the number of pigs that left your farm;
  • the identification number of the approved tags and approved slap tattoos on the pigs that you transport (if applicable); and
  • the license plate number of the conveyance used to transport the pigs.

What information do I need to report when I receive pigs from another site to my farm?

You must report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days of receiving pigs from another location:

  • the location of the departure site and of the destination site;
  • the date and time that the conveyance carrying the pigs arrived at your farm;
  • the number of pigs and pig dead stock that arrived at your farm;
  • the identification number of the approved tags and approved slap tattoos on the pigs that you receive (if applicable); and
  • the licence plate number of the conveyance used to transport the pigs.

What information do I need to report if I am sending pig dead stock off-farm?

You will need to report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days of moving the dead stock:

  • the locations of the departure and destination sites;
  • the date that the conveyance carrying the dead stock left your farm (i.e., the departure site); and
  • the licence plate number, or if no licence plate, other identification of the conveyance.

All information related to pigs that is reported to the Canadian Pork Council must also be kept in records for a minimum of five years.

Overview of movement of pigs between sites registered as linked

If you frequently transport pigs between the same farms or between sites within your farm, you may submit a request to the Canadian Pork Council that those sites be registered as linked. If the movements between the two sites meet the requirements and the request is accepted, you would have less information to report and would only be required to report it on a monthly basis. If the movement between the sites registered as linked is not reported on a monthly basis, the registration in respect of the two sites being linked shall be cancelled for the remainder of the six-month period.

Detailed information need to be kept in records for five years.

Overview of requirements for documents accompanying pigs when transported

What documentation do I need when I move pigs?

There are two circumstances where information collected on a form must accompany pigs and pig carcasses:

  • the transportation of non-bred pigs between non-contiguous parts of a farm or between farms
  • the transportation of pig carcasses to any site.

The document can be either electronic or paper, provided that all of the required information (the information listed in this brochure) is on the form and can be immediately read by an inspector.

For additional information on the regulatory requirements and on Canada's Livestock Identification and Traceability Program, please visit the ACIA website.

Definitions

Approved Tag:
Refers to tags approved under the livestock identification and traceability program and listed on the ACIA website.
Revoked Tag:
A tag initially approved under the national livestock identification and traceability program, which is no longer approved.
Date modified: