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Province and industry reach agreement


The province of Alberta and representatives from its beef cattle industry have reached an agreement that they say will provide the foundation for livestock traceability in the province.

Livestock traceability, they add, will be key to expanding market access and managing animal health and food safety issues.

The Guiding Principles for Beef Cattle Traceability establish an acceptable common understanding of traceability among government and industry partners as they move toward a national beef traceability system.

Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development explains that in 2009, federal and provincial agriculture ministers decided to move forward on a comprehensive national traceability system for livestock.

This latest agreement means this system can move forward.

Along with the province’s agriculture minister, representatives from the Alberta Beef Producers, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, the Beef Industry Alliance, the Canadian Beef Breeds Council, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and Livestock Inspection Services were on hand to sign the agreement.

With the signing of this agreement, the province and key industry organizations recognize the need to operate under a set of guiding principles for beef cattle traceability.

Those guiding principles include that:

• Traceability support industry standards for commerce.

• The traceability system for the beef cattle industry enhance the competitive position of the industry.

• Traceability expand as the appropriate technology to support initiatives is available.

• Industry standards drive tolerance ranges for tag readability and retention.

• Producer information must remain confidential.