Annex R: The Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for the Export of Beef to the European Union (EU)
2. EU Approved Federally Registered Slaughter Establishments

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The District Veterinarian will maintain a copy of the specific CFIA accepted transfer documentation that each CFIA recognized/certified management system must provide to the EU approved federally registered slaughter establishments. This information will be provided to the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) of those establishments by the District Veterinarian as required.

The producer identified on CFIA accepted transfer documentation is responsible for providing advanced notice to the management of the EU approved federally registered slaughter establishment when a load of eligible GEP program cattle, intended for export to the EU is to be delivered. Plant management will in turn notify in advance the VIC regarding the date of arrival.

It is the responsibility of the operator of the Federally Registered Establishment to ensure that EU eligible animals arriving at the facility are sourced from a feedlot who's Certificate of Compliance (Annex R-7.1) has not expired or has a valid CFIA recognized/certified management system certificate or equivalent.

The operator of a slaughter or processing establishment must submit a control program that clearly outlines the controls that will be implemented to ensure that all applicable requirements are met and that eligible products can be readily distinguished from non-eligible products at all times. This control program must be found acceptable by the VIC or Inspector in Charge as the case may be, and must include monitoring, verification and record-keeping activities, deviation procedures and be auditable and effective. The approved control program (in reference to Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures Chapter 11, section on European Union Traceability requirements) utilized by the EU approved federally registered slaughter and/or processing establishment must include the points listed below:

  1. Whenever EU eligible animals arrive, a trained company employee is responsible for reviewing the accompanying documentation and assessing its validity and completeness. Additionally, this person is responsible for ensuring proper segregation of the eligible animals. Prior to slaughter, the accompanying documentation (CFIA accepted transfer documentation, ante mortem cards, etc.) is to be presented by company officials to the designated CFIA Veterinarian for review.

    In order to accommodate already existing farm records and electronic inventory programs used by cattle producers and to prevent transcription errors, the identification of animals may be done by way of an industry record. CFIA accepted transfer documentation would still be required to be signed by the designated individual. If this procedure is used, the documents must:

    1. be linked together by using a unique reference number generated by the farm that includes a premises identifier (i.e. PremisesID-2010-0001);
    2. contain the minimum information required by this program (see definition of CFIA Accepted Transfer Documentation); and
    3. the producer declaration will be signed and dated by the designated individual and all other pages initialled.
  2. The control program must be implemented and maintained to ensure proper segregation and identity of EU eligible products. There is to be a clearly defined break between handling the eligible and non eligible categories of products. The carcasses (including the head and offal) and cuts which are to be GEP-free, are required to have their identity maintained until packed in boxes which are sealed with the EU Health Mark.
  3. Eligible animals should be scheduled to be slaughtered at the beginning of a shift and all program animals on hand are to be slaughtered, prior to the slaughter of non-eligible animals, with a clearly defined break in between. This practice is preferable to facilitate operational control and monitoring of the program. If an operator chooses to process EU eligible animals using an alternative procedure (which achieves the same outcome), the control measures must be reviewed and found acceptable to the VIC prior to implementation. Prior to slaughter, the VIC is to be notified by way of the slaughter sheet as to, the identification of the eligible animals and is to be advised when the first and last animals are slaughtered.
  4. The listing of EU eligible animals on the CFIA accepted transfer documentation must contain only the animals being shipped. As an alternative, the listing may be a more comprehensive list but in this case the shipper and receiver must have a mutually agreed upon procedure which will provide feedback to the shipper within 14 days. Based on this feedback, the shipper must update their inventory list to accurately reflect what remains on their premises. This alternative arrangement must be agreed upon between the shipper and the slaughter establishment, with the latter being responsible for the on-site reconciliation of the identity of the actual animals shipped vs. those listed on the CFIA accepted transfer documentation. The agreed upon alternative procedure must also be approved by the VIC at the EU approved federally registered slaughter establishment. In all cases, reconciliation must occur prior to, or at, the company's identification station.
  5. Actions to be taken when approved tags from eligible animals are missing:
    1. All eligible animals that have approved tags missing will be disqualified from the program and will not be eligible for EU export unless the conditions of section "5.iii." (below) are met.
    2. Animals missing approved tags must be properly identified as per the operator written program to ensure proper segregation of the carcass. Particular attention must be paid at the time of post-mortem inspection to hold or discard the head meat and offal from these carcasses.
    3. In the event an eligible animal is missing the approved tag and the possibility that the animal lost its tag either in the yard or in the truck during transportation, and the VIC is satisfied as to the identity of the animal, the following measures will be taken:
      1. operator must physically inspect the animal as per normal procedure and report to the VIC for approval what information (alternate visual identification, colour, sex, brand, physical segregation, etc.) was used to confirm what approved tag was previously present in the animal;
      2. if the positive identification method of the animal without the approve tag is acceptable to the VIC (i.e. through alternate visual identification), the carcass can be consider eligible and isolated; and
      3. if the positive identification of the animal without the approved tag is not possible or not at the VIC satisfaction, the carcass will not be eligible of EU export.
  6. Program animals will be subjected to a physical check by company employees for the presence of implants (see Annex R-1). CFIA inspectors are responsible for assessing the competence of the individuals conducting physical checks and monitoring their performance. If, as the result of a physical check done at the slaughter establishment, administration of an implant is detected or suspected, the CFIA VIC shall be notified immediately. This information must then be relayed by the CFIA VIC to the District Veterinarian for follow up investigation. The finding of an implant renders all animals from the same source non-eligible for EU markets until an investigation is completed. Deviations from program requirements or evidence of non-compliance will result in follow up actions including the possibility of removal of the registered farm/feedlot/auction market from the program. Should the results of this investigation raise doubts as to whether the operator should remain part of this program, the District veterinarian will submit a query to the Operational Guidance and Expertise Group (OGE) to assess further follow up actions.
  7. All procedures related to this program must be reviewed and found acceptable by the VIC of the Registered Establishment. CFIA Inspectors are responsible for verifying compliance during production.
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