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CFIA plans ‘soft approach’ to mandatory pig traceability program

From Better Farming

The mandatory national pig traceability system became effective July 1, but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be taking a soft approach to enforcement for up to a year after that date when dealing with people who can’t produce their pig movement records, says a spokesman.

The new traceability requirements make it mandatory for all pig farmers and pig custodians, such as auction markets, transporters and breeders, to properly identify, keep records and report the movements of pigs under their care and control from birth or import to slaughter or export, CFIA says in a July 2 news release. Anyone who fails to meet the requirements could “be subject to enforcement actions, such as warnings, fines and prosecution.”

CFIA says the aspects of the traceability system, such as record keeping and animal identification, help the agency identify and locate animals throughout the supply chain from birth to slaughter. Those measures are useful for targeting specific animals in animal health emergencies.

Andrew Armstrong, the CFIA’s animal transportation identification coordinator for the Ontario area, told participants in an Ontario Pork telephone town hall meeting Friday on pig traceability the agency’s soft enforcement actions will include education and warning/information letters. “We will be starting in the Ontario area with information letters. We’ll be sending information packages out if somebody doesn’t have their animals identified properly.”

That will graduate to a “letter of non compliance,” he adds, noting the agency is giving industry time to get used to the new requirements.

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