Livestock Identification and Traceability

Traceability is the ability to follow an item or a group of items - be it animal, plant, food product or ingredient - from one point in the supply chain to another, either backwards or forwards. Livestock traceability systems are based upon three basic elements: animal identification; premises identification; and animal movement.

Traceability systems are important, effective tools that can be used for many things, including the protection of animal health, public health and food safety. They can help reduce response time, thereby limiting economic, environmental and social impacts of emergency situations such as disease outbreaks.

Industry-led animal identification systems currently exist for cattle, bison and sheep. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces identification requirements for these sectors under the Health of Animals Regulations.

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