Due to maintenance, this website may be temporarily unavailable January 17 from 2 am to 7 am (EST).
Requirements for intermediate sites (auction marts, fairs and assembly yard, etc.): 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 (255 kb)
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. 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 for cattle, bison, sheep and pigs
What identification do animals need to have when arriving at my site?
Cattle, bison and sheep
An approved ear tag
Arriving at an auction mart, fair or any intermediate site other than an assembly yard used exclusively to collect pigs before sending them directly to slaughter:
- An approved ear tag with a number unique to the pig.
Arriving at an assembly yard used exclusively to collect pigs before sending them directly to slaughter:
- An approved ear tag with a herd mark or a number unique to the pig, or an approved slap tattoo.
As the operator of an intermediate site, you are responsible for making sure that animals that arrive and are kept at your site are identified as described above.
What record do I need to keep if an animal dies at my site?
Should an animal bearing an approved or revoked tag die at your site, you must keep a record of their identification number(s) and that record must be kept for a minimum of two years.
Specific requirements for auctions
Every person who conducts a public sale, auction or market of any kind of livestock is responsible for keeping a record of the complete legal names and addresses of consignors for every animal received and of purchasers for every animal sold.
Operators of auctions must make these records available for inspection when requested and they must be kept for a minimum of two years.
Overview of requirements specific to cattle, bison or sheep
Auction marts, fairs, assembly yards, etc.
Approved tags applied at intermediate site such as auction marts, fairs or assembly yards must be issued to that site.
If you receive cattle, bison or sheep that do not bear an approved tag or that bear a revoked tag, you must:
- apply a new approved tag to the animal;
- keep a record of the identification number of the new approved tag and enough information about the animal/carcass to be able to trace its origin, if such information is known.
If you need to apply a new approved tag to an animal or to dead stock that already bears an approved or revoked tag, you must report the identification number of the new approved tag and the number of the previously approved tag to the responsible administrator within 30 days of the new approved tag being applied.
The operator of an auction mart, fair or assembly yard may voluntarily request to to be recognized as a tagging site. Note that only cattle and bison can be sent to tagging sites to be identified. Tagging sites do not apply to pigs and sheep.
Approved tags applied at tagging sites may only be issued to the farm of origin. The operator of a tagging site may continue to issue approved tags to the farm of origin if it is also a CCIA Approved tag dealer.
In the event you are the manager of a tagging site, you must ensure that:
- untagged cattle and bison from different farms are not mixed;
- you apply approved tags to cattle and bison as soon as the animals arrive at the tagging site; and
- you keep records that include enough information about the cattle and bison to allow you to trace their origin.
You must make these records available to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, if asked, and keep them on file for two years.
If you are the operator of an auction mart, fair, feedlot or assembly yard and wish to be considered a tagging site, please contact the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. You will be asked to confirm that you understand the above-mentioned requirements and conditions (for example, the equipment and facilities at the site are adequate to enable the application of an approved tag to a bison or bovine without endangering its safety or the safety of the personnel at the site). The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency maintains the list of tagging sites on its website.
Note that all traceability information related to pigs and pig carcasses that is reported to the Canadian Pork Council must be kept in records for five years.
Under the federal Health of Animals Regulations, custodians of:
- Cattle, bison and sheep must report to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency by visiting the Canadian Livestock Tracking System's website.
- Pigs and farmed wild boars must report to the Canadian Pork Council by visiting the PigTrace website.
These are the "responsible administrators" for these two groups of livestock.
Requirements for dead stock identification apply to any person, including operators of intermediate sites. Therefore, in the event carcasses of cattle, bison or sheep not bearing an approved tag have to be removed from your site, you must apply an approved tag to the carcass before it is loaded into a conveyance.
Should you be disposing the carcass of cattle, bison or sheep bearing an approved or revoked tag on site, you must report its number to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days.
Overview of requirements specific to pigs and farmed wild boars
Reporting the movement of pigs
If you receive pigs at your site, you must report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days:
- the locations of your site and of the departure sites;
- the dates and times that pigs were unloaded from the conveyance that transported them to you;
- the number of pigs and pig carcasses that you received; and
- the licence plate number of the conveyance that transported them to you.
If you send pigs to another site, you must report the following information to the Canadian Pork Council within seven days:
- the number of pigs loaded onto the conveyance;
- the date and time that the conveyance carrying the pig left the departure site;
- the location of the departure and destination sites; and
- the licence plate of the conveyance.
Please note that requirements related to pigs also apply to farmed wild boars.
You do not need to report the identification numbers on approved tags and approved slap tattoos applied to pigs, unless they were applied at your site. If this is the case, you must report the identification numbers as well.
Collection sites or assembly yards used exclusively to collect pigs before sending them directly to slaughter
When pigs are moved to a collection site or assembly yard used exclusively to collect pigs before they are transported directly to an abattoir, they must be identified either with an approved tag or an approved slap tattoo before they leave their departure site. The approved tag can be either a herd mark (identification number unique to the departure site) or of an individual identification number unique to each pig. Pigs that already bear an approved tag do not need to be re-tagged when they arrive at an assembly yard.
Pigs that are kept at an assembly yard for longer than 96 hours, or that are sent anywhere other than to an abattoir must have an approved tag with an identification number unique to the each animal applied to them.
If pig dead stock is transported off of your site, you, as the operator of the departure site, must report:
- the location of your site and of the destination site;
- the date the conveyance carrying the dead stock left your site; and
- the licence plate number of the conveyance carrying the dead stock.
You do not need to report the identification numbers of approved tags or approved slap tattoos on dead pigs.
- Herd mark:
- An identification number unique to a group of animals that originate from the same site.
- Approved tag:
- Refers to tags approved under the livestock identification and traceability program and listed on the CFIA website.
- Revoked tag:
- A tag initially approved under the national livestock identification and traceability program, which is no longer approved.
- Date modified: