Annex R: The Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for the Export of Beef to the European Union (EU)
Annex R-13: Requirements for Compliance with the European Union Tariff Rate Quota for High Quality Beef Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 481/2012)
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Canadian beef for export to the European Union (EU) must be produced under the existing and EU approved, "Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for the Export of Beef to the EU" and the animals must be slaughtered and processed in CFIA Federally Registered Establishments eligible for export to the European Union. These prerequisites form the foundations addressing issues related to traceability.
In addition to meeting all requirements contained in the GEP Program and requirements of CFIA Federally Registered Establishments exporting to the European Union, in order to access the European Union 0% Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) for high-quality, fresh, chilled or frozen beef, the imported products must qualify as high-quality beef as defined in Annex I of European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 481/2012) as follows:
- Beef cuts are obtained from carcasses of heifers and steers less than 30 months of age which have only been fed a diet, for at least the last 100 days before slaughter, containing not less than 62% of concentrates and/or feed grain co-products on a dietary dry matter basis that meet or exceed a metabolizable energy content greater than 12.26 mega joules per one kilogram of dry matter.
- The heifers and steers that are fed the diet described in point 1 shall be fed, on average, no less than 1.4% of live body weight per day on a dry matter basis.
- The carcass from which beef cuts are derived are evaluated by an evaluator employed by the national government who bases the evaluation, and a resulting classification of the carcass, on a method approved by the national government. The national government evaluation method, and its classifications, must evaluate expected carcass quality using a combination of carcass maturity and palatability traits of the beef cuts. Such an evaluation method of the carcass shall include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the maturity characteristics of colour and texture of the longissimus dorsi muscle and bone and cartilage ossification, as well as an evaluation of expected palatability traits, including a combination of the discrete specifications of intramuscular fat and firmness of the longissimus dorsi muscle.
- The cuts shall be labelled in accordance with Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council .
- The indication "High Quality Beef" may be added to the information on the label.
Within the above definition and within this program, heifers are defined as females which have not yet calved and steers are defined as castrated males and this will be certified by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian based on visual examination of the animals.
Animals slaughtered for export under this quota will be aged according to Canadian standards for ageing by dentition outlined in the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures. Cattle will be considered as less than 30 months of age (UTM), and therefore eligible for this quota, as long as the animal has only two permanent incisors and the first erupting tooth from the second set of permanent incisors is not above the surface of the gum. This will be the sole method for age verification for cattle destined for export under this Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ). Ageing by dentition by the operator is verified by the CFIA inspection staff on every carcass and any carcass for which the age criteria is not met has to be excluded from this Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ).
B. Feeding Procedures
Prior to or during the visit to enroll a feedlot in this program, a CFIA Approved Veterinarian must inform the feedlot of the requirements that need to be met in order to comply with this program and assess the feeding regime of the feedlot and ensure that the following records are maintained at the feedlot operation:
- a ration formulation record which identifies the concentrates and/or feed grain co-products in a ration and the percentage of each of those items within the ration on a dry matter basis;
- a record which indicates the date on which a qualifying ration starts in an identified pen or lot of animals;
- a record of the initial starting weight for the animals as they enter the feedlot;
- a record of the daily quantity of the ration delivered to that pen or lot; and
- a record of the number of animals in the pen or lot.
The feedlot operator has the option to have an animal nutritionist work in collaboration with the CFIA Approved Veterinarian to evaluate the feeding regime but the first assessment must be verified by the CFIA District Veterinarian that the CFIA Approved Veterinarian reports to.
Based on a satisfactory records review, the feedlot must then enrol in order to participate in this quota by completing Annex R-14.2 with the CFIA Approved Veterinarian. The feedlot and CFIA Approved Veterinarian must keep a copy of the completed enrolment form for a minimum of one year and the CFIA Approved Veterinarian must submit the original signed version to their CFIA District Veterinarian. The CFIA District Veterinarian is responsible for notifying the designated CFIA Area Program Specialist who will maintain a list of enrolled feedlots along with their enrolment dates. Eligibility will be valid for one year from the date of enrolment so enrolment must be renewed on an annual basis to maintain eligibility to ship under this quota.
The CFIA Approved Veterinarian is responsible for issuing Annex R-14.3 for each load of cattle destined to the European Union which qualify for shipment under this quota. This requires review of records pertaining to the specific animals being shipped. Annex R-14.3 when completed and signed by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian provides the assurance to the CFIA's Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) at the slaughter plant that the animals listed on the Transfer Certificate referenced in the Annex R-14.3 have met the feeding requirements for a minimum of 100 days prior to slaughter. Note that this attestation is provided in addition to the documentation required for the GEP Program as the GEP Program is a prerequisite for this quota.
The CFIA Approved Veterinarian and the feedlot must each retain a copy of the feeding records which were used to perform the evaluation of the rations along with a copy of Annex R-14.3 for a minimum of two years. The VIC at the slaughterhouse must retain a copy of Annex R-14.3 for two years. All records mentioned above must be made available to the CFIA, a CFIA Approved Veterinarian or a European Union official on demand.
The specific methods for certifying that the feeding requirements are met are described in the following points.
1) Requirement that animals have been fed a diet, for at least the last 100 days before slaughter, containing not less than 62% of concentrates and/or feed grain co-products on a dietary dry matter basis that meet or exceed a metabolizable energy content greater than 12.26 mega joules per one kilogram of dry matter.
Although the format of feed recording documents may vary from one feedlot to another, the feedlot is required to maintain records which identify the concentrates and/or feed grain co-products in a ration along with their percentages on a dry matter basis.
Data from the National Research Council's "Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle: Seventh Revised Edition: Update 2000 0309592429" also provides the metabolizable energy values for concentrates and/or feed grain co-products in the feedlot's ration formulation documents. Based on the percentages of each ingredient in the ration and the metabolizable energy values for the ingredients, the CFIA Approved Veterinarian must evaluate each ration to determine which rations contain not less than 62% of concentrates and/or feed grain co-products on a dietary dry matter basis and also which rations meet or exceed a metabolizable energy content greater than 12.26 mega joules per kilogram of dry matter. A ration that meets both of these requirements would be considered a qualifying ration.
Under the GEP Program, there is a requirement to maintain animal inventory lists (Annex R-6) using unique animal identification. There is also a requirement to assign the individual animals to a pen or lot number in Annex R-6.
In addition to this, feedlot operators are required to maintain records indicating the date on which each new ration is started in a particular pen or lot number. The recorded date that qualifying rations are started in a pen or lot number and the allocation of individual animals to pens or lot numbers in Annex R-6 provides the CFIA Approved Veterinarian with the necessary documentation to identify the 100 day period required for this quota.
Evaluation of the ration formulation, level of concentrate and energy contents of ingredients may be performed by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian in conjunction with a nutritionist. However, it is the responsibility of the CFIA Approved Veterinarian, and not the nutritionist, to attest that these feeding requirements have been met in Annex R-14.3 which must be generated for each shipment of cattle sent to slaughter under this program. Annex R-14.3 is linked to a transfer certificate through the unique reference number on the transfer certificate and the transfer certificate identifies the animals being shipped according to their unique identification tag.
2) Requirement that animals are fed, on average, not less than 1.4% of live body weight per day on a dry matter basis for at least the last 100 days before slaughter.
Feedlot yard sheets and other information, as necessary, must be provided to the CFIA Approved Veterinarian in order to evaluate average Dry Matter Intake as a percentage of Live Body Weight during the feeding period.
Note that there may be a period of adjustment when cattle first arrive at the feedlot during which their intakes may lie below the 1.4% level, however, the average for the 100 day period must be not less than 1.4% of live body weight per day on a dry matter basis.
The information on the average amount of feed for the 100 day period must be attested to by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian in Annex R-14.3 for each shipment of cattle sent to slaughter under this program. Annex R-14.3 is linked to a transfer certificate through the unique reference number on the transfer certificate and the transfer certificate identifies the animals being shipped according to their unique identification tags.
These procedures are subject to verification by the CFIA. The first assessment of a feedlot operation's feeding regime must be verified by the CFIA District Veterinarian. This verification step must ensure the following items are present at the facility:
- Ensure that the animals are fed no less than 1.4% of live body weight per day on a dry matter basis.
- Identify rations which qualify according to the criteria in the definition.
- Identify the dates that the rations were fed and ensure that a qualifying ration was fed to a particular pen or lot for at least 100 days prior to slaughter.
- Trace individual animals from the slaughter information back to the feedlot via the transfer certificates and Annex R-14.3 and identify them into pen or lot numbers which were fed the qualifying rations for the minimum 100 days prior to slaughter.
A copy of the records along with a Report of Inspector (CFIA/ACIA 1520) summarizing the findings will be maintained in the CFIA District Office file for this producer.
Supervision and audit of ongoing compliance with the above items by the feedlot and by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian will be done by the CFIA in conjunction with audits performed as outlined in the existing and European Union approved GEP Program. The feedlots and CFIA Approved Veterinarian will be audited by the CFIA at a frequency of a minimum of one (1) time per year.
C. Grading Procedures
1) Grading Declaration
The carcass from which the beef cuts are derived must be evaluated according to the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations.
For the purpose of carcass evaluation (grading) of High Quality Beef eligible to access this quota, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), recognized as the competent authority for Canada, will ensure that all such carcasses are evaluated by a certified evaluator (grader) who is employed by the national government. This will be demonstrated through the signature of the evaluator on the "Grader's Certificate" completed for each carcass and reflecting the determined grade. The "Grader's Certificate" is reviewed by the CFIA's Veterinarian in Charge at the slaughter establishment who will subsequently sign the Certificate of Authenticity certifying that the beef identified in that Certificate complies with the required specifications.
D. Labelling and Certification Procedures
The cuts intended for export must meet the labelling requirements as described in the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures, Section 11.7.3, European Union. The indication "High Quality Beef" may be added to the information on the label.
A Certificate of Authenticity will be issued by the CFIA confirming that the products described on that certificate qualify as high quality beef as defined in Commission regulation (EC) No 593/2013.
E. Roles and Responsibilities
1) Feedlot Owner
The feedlot owner is responsible for meeting the following requirements:
- performing an initial review of their feeding regime with a CFIA Approved Veterinarian to ensure that necessary records are in place to satisfy the requirements under this quota;
- completing an enrolment form (Annex R-14.2) with the CFIA Approved Veterinarian annually;
- providing copies of the necessary feeding documents to the CFIA Approved Veterinarian;
- maintaining copies of feeding records used by the CFIA Approved Veterinarian to complete Annex R-14.3 as well as a copy of Annex R-14.3 for a minimum of two years; and
- allowing the CFIA Approved Veterinarian, a CFIA Official or an EU Official to have full access to these records upon request.
2) CFIA Approved Veterinarian
In order to deliver the GEP Program on behalf of the CFIA, the veterinarian must be approved to deliver this program as per a signed agreement with CFIA to deliver this program. In addition to this agreement, an accredited veterinarian wishing to deliver this supplemental program to access this quota must undergo additional training with their CFIA District Veterinarian and enter into an additional agreement (Annex R-14.1) with the CFIA.
In addition to the roles and responsibilities laid out in the GEP Program users' manual, the CFIA Approved Veterinarian is responsible for:
- explaining the quota and the requirements that would need to be met to qualify;
- performing an initial assessment of the feeding regime and records in conjunction with the CFIA District Veterinarian;
- enrolling compliant feedlots on an annual basis;
- ensuring that records provide the necessary information for certification (Annex R-14.3);
- completing Annex R-14.3 for each compliant load of animals shipped to slaughter; and
- maintaining copies of the feeding records used to complete Annex R-14.3 as well as a copy of Annex R-14.3 for a minimum of two years.
3) CFIA District Veterinarian
In addition to the roles and responsibilities laid out in the GEP Program users' manual, the CFIA District Veterinarian is responsible for:
- providing supplemental training specific to this quota;
- accrediting the veterinarian for the provisions of this quota;
- participating in the initial assessment of a feedlot's feeding regime to verify that adequate records exist to meet the requirements of the program (rations, ingredients, energy contents, dates fed, traceability to pen or lot numbers);
- providing a list of enrolled feedlots to the CFIA Area Program Specialist; and
- performing annual audit of the feedlot(s) and CFIA Approved Veterinarian(s).
4) CFIA Area Program Specialist
The Area Program Specialist is responsible for:
- providing program guidance and support to the CFIA District Veterinarians and Veterinarians in Charge; and
- maintaining a list of feedlots eligible to ship animals to slaughter under this quota.
5) Carcass Evaluator
Carcasses for export to the European Union under this quota must be evaluated by an evaluator employed by the national government. This individual must ensure:
- that the carcasses intended for export are evaluated according to the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations; and
- that a "Grader's Certificate" is completed and signed for carcasses intended for export under this quota.
6) CFIA Veterinarian In Charge of the Registered Slaughter Establishment
In addition to the roles and responsibilities laid out in Annex R (the GEP Program), the CFIA Veterinarian in Charge at the slaughter establishment is responsible for:
- ensuring that any animals slaughtered for the purposes of being certified under this quota are accompanied by a completed Annex R-14.3 which is signed by a CFIA Approved Veterinarian;
- ensuring that the animals are slaughtered on a date after that listed in Annex R-14.3 as the date on which the 100 day requirement is fulfilled;
- ensuring that Annex R-14.3 and the Transfer Certificate are linked through the unique serial number on the Transfer Certificate which accompanied the animals to slaughter;
- ensuring that the carcasses are graded/evaluated (obtaining and reviewing a "Grader's Certificate" signed by an evaluator who is employed by the national government);
- ensuring verification of operator's procedure of ageing; and
- issuing of the Certificate of Authenticity confirming that the requirements of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 481/2012) have been met.
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