Requirements for Operators of Abattoirs, Rendering Plants and Dead Stock Collection Centres and Post-Mortem Laboratories: Livestock Identification and Traceability Program

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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 federal livestock identification and traceability requirements. Note that 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 general requirements

What identification do animals need to have when they are sent to an abattoir?

Cattle, bison and sheep

An approved tag (unless imported for immediate slaughter)

Pigs

An approved tag or approved slap tattoo

What identification does dead stock need when they are sent to a rendering plant or dead stock collection center?

Cattle, bison and sheep

An approved tag

Pigs

No identification requirement but they shall be accompanied by required information

Overview of requirements for operators of abattoirs

Note that these requirements apply to all abattoirs, including those that are not inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) such as mobile abattoirs.

As an abattoir operator, you must

  • be able to identify the carcasses of livestock in the abattoir (which carcass came from which animal) until a carcass is either approved for human consumption or condemned,
  • keep a record of the identification number(s) of the approved and revoked tag(s) on any animals that are slaughtered or die for any reason on your site
  • keep a record of enough information to enable the origin to be traced of any bison, cattle or sheep carcasses not bearing an approved tag being received and disposed at your site, and
  • ensure that bison, bovine and sheep carcasses transported off your site are identified with an approved tag, and to identify those carcasses with an approved tag if they do not already bear one if transported off-site.

Reporting requirements for operators of abattoirs

Cattle and bison: You must report the identification number of the approved and revoked tag(s) borne by the animal that was slaughtered or died for any reason on your site to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days of the animal's death or slaughter.

Pigs: You must collect and report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days of receiving pigs:

  • the number of pigs and pig carcasses that arrived at your abattoir;
  • the date and time that the conveyance arrived at your abattoir;
  • the location of both the departure site and your abattoir;
  • the identification numbers on the approved tags OR the approved slap tattoos; and
  • the licence plate of the conveyance that transported the pigs.

Sheep: You are not required to report the identification number(s) of approved tags to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.

Importation for immediate slaughter

Cattle, bison and sheep: If you import cattle bison and sheep for immediate slaughter, they do not need to be identified with an approved tag.

Pigs: If you import pigs for immediate slaughter, they need to be identified with an approved tag or slap tattoo issued by the foreign country. You must also report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council:

  • the location of the last site at which the pig was kept before it was imported,
  • the location to which the pig was imported,
  • the date on which the pig was received,
  • the identification number on the pig's approved tag or slap tattoo, and
  • the license plate number of the conveyance by which the pig was imported.

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

You must keep all records noted in this document for five years for pigs and two years for cattle, bison and sheep.

Under the federal Health of Animals Regulations, custodians of:

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

All information related to cattle, bison and sheep required to be kept in records by operators of abattoirs, rendering plants, dead stock collection centers and post-mortem laboratories shall be kept for two years

Overview of requirements for operators of rendering plants, dead stock collection centers and post-mortem laboratories

You may remove approved or revoked tags from dead stock when disposing of it.

Cattle, bison, sheep and dead stock: You must report the identification number of the approved and revoked tag(s) borne by the animal to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days of disposing of dead stock.

The carcasses of bison, cattle and sheep transported from any site for off-site disposal must bear an approved tag before being loaded into the conveyance used for the transportation. In the event you would receive cattle, bison or sheep dead stock that do not bear an approved or bear a revoked tag at your facility, you must collect, keep in records and report the following information to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days of disposing of it:

  • the site from which the dead stock was removed,
  • the date that the dead stock was removed from that site, and
  • the name and address of the owner or person who had the possession, care or control of the dead stock when it was removed from that site.

Please note that requirements related to pigs also apply to farmed wild boars.

Pig dead stock: You must collect and report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days of receiving the dead stock:

  • the location of the departure site;
  • either the name of the operator of the destination site or the location of the destination site;
  • the date that the dead stock arrived at the destination site; and
  • the licence plate number of the conveyance that transported the dead stock.

Pig dead stock arriving at your site must be accompanied by the required information outlined above in a form that can be immediately read by an inspector. This may be a manifest or other shipping document. It can be either electronic or hard copy.

Pig dead stock does not have to be identified.

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

Definitions

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