Livestock Traceability

Traceability within Alberta’s agri-food industry has become an important tool in improving animal health, increasing food safety, minimizing economic impact of disease outbreak, while expanding Alberta’s global market share.

There are three pillars within Alberta’s traceability system: premise identification, animal identification, and animal movement. Premise identification establishes each producer’s farm base by issuing each premise a unique number that is used on transport manifests and bill of sales to ensure livestock can be traced back to multiple farms involved in the ownership chain. Animal identification mandates all animals sold beyond the point of origin to be tagged with a Radio Identification Frequency (R.F.I.D) button unique to only that animal. Further to the R.F.I.D. button as of January first 2009 all calves born must be age verified.

Verification is the process of associating the animal’s birth date or the herds starting calving date with the animal’s unique R.F.I.D. button. This birth date event is entered in to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) database and is stored for the life of the animal allowing animals to be identified as over or under 30 months of age. Animal movement tracks the movement of livestock from the herd of origin through the feeding chain to slaughter by tracking the animals unique R.F.I.D. button through the CCIA database. Alberta beef is world renowned and highly sought after for its quality and consistency, to ensure Alberta beef producers maintain this reputation traceability will provide the insurance the industry needs.
Agricultural Services offers a traceability program which provides service to beef producers in age verification, premise identification, and animal movement. As well Agricultural Services partners with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency and Alberta Agriculture in providing information, workshops and seminars to help producers adopt and implement traceability within their farm. Agricultural Services also offers R.F.I.D. tag reader rentals to producers to assist with gathering traceability data.

Contact Agricultural Services Staff to learn more about our traceability programs and services.