Calgary – Canada will see a $7.5-million investment towards improving food safety across the country.
Gerry Ritz, Agriculture minister, says a national database for tracing livestock will help keep consumers safe and bolster trade.
The investment is going to the Canadian Agri Traceability Services to develop, implement and operate a national livestock traceability data service.
Plans are to use information from industry groups, says Kitchener.CTVNews.ca, including the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and Agri-Tracabilite Quebec, to build a comprehensive database by 2016.
“The CCA welcomes the investment in Canada’s traceability system for livestock,” says Pat Hayes, co-chair of the CCA Animal Health and Care Committee and one of CCA’s directors on the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.
“This investment will help the government of Canada deliver on its commitment to reducing red tape and in turn the costs of traceability, something livestock producers greatly appreciate.”
This national traceability database will collect, maintain and manage information in accordance with:
• national standards,
• federal and provincial regulations
• specific needs and requirements of industry
The project will be divided into two phases. The first phase will look at the development and implementation of the traceability database. The second phase will involve seeing it into operation.
The database will reduce red tape and complement the work the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is going through the Traceability National Information Portal, one of 90 department-specific reforms under the government’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan.
Streamlining regulations and cutting red tape will help to spur innovation and productivity in agriculture, as well as increase Canadian competitiveness and free business to innovate, invest, grow and create jobs.
Crises such as mad-cow disease, the tainted beef recall in Alberta and the outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea in several provinces are just a few of the factors driving the need for the database, reports Kitchener.CTVNews.ca.
Just the facts
• Traceability is the ability to follow an item or group of items–including animals, plants, food products and agricultural inputs such as feed, seed or ingredients–from one point in the supply chain to another.
• Traceability systems are key elements in helping to protect the health of animals and the public and support food safety.
• Canadian Agri-Traceability Services is a new not-for-profit corporation that brings together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ).
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