The province of Alberta has introduced new regulations, which will take effect March 1 this year.
The Traceability Cattle Identification Regulation repeals the Traceability Livestock Identification Regulation.
The aim of the new regulations is to strengthen animal health and food safety legislation.
What will change
There are two parts to the new regulations: tagging requirements for cattle identification and cattle move-in reporting for feedlots.
“Traceability is key in providing assurances of food safety and managing animal health issues,” says George Groeneveld, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Alberta has taken a leadership role in Canada in developing a traceability system. These adjustments not only enhance Alberta’s system, but also provide some flexibility to producers in meeting requirements.”
All producers now have until cattle are 10 months of age, rather than eight, to apply industry-approved Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and register the cattle’s birth date.
Producers using actual birth dates also have the option of using a cattle identifier (tattoo or production dangle tag) by three months-of-age and until applying an RFID tag at 10 months-of-age or the animal leaves the farm, whichever comes first. Previously, RFID tags were required at three months-of-age.
Feedlots feeding 1,000 or more head per year are now required to report move-in information to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.
Previously, only feedlots feeding 5,000 or more head were required to do so. This regulation applies only to feedlots, not cow-calf operations.
The province says the changes were made at the request of the cattle industry to ensure that all cattle are off-pasture in time to meet the requirement.
As well, the provisions for retagging cattle that have lost their ear tags have been clarified. If an animal is retagged, on-farm records must be created or updated to reflect the new approved tag number, the date applied, and number of the previously applied tag, if available. The regulation specifies processes for cattle aged under and over 18 months.