Traceability: Poultry

 
 
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Traceability is a crucial component of an effective animal health and food safety system that enables precise and rapid emergency response to protect livestock, producers and consumers. Determining where livestock are, where they have been and what other livestock they have come into contact with allows for efficient emergency planning and response. Traceability in Alberta relies on the three fundamental pillars of premises identification, animal identification and animal movement.

Click here to print this checklist

Poultry Owner’s Checklist of Traceability Requirements

o Register and receive a PID number - click here to register or to log in

o Register any information changes in the PID system within 30 days

Applicable Traceability Legislation and Regulations:
Better Management Practices

o Registration of all livestock premises in the PID system

o Keep records of flock movement, medications and feed

o Adoption of biosecurity measures

Premises Identification

Premises Identification (PID), one of the three traceability pillars, is a way of linking livestock and poultry to land locations. The information collected through the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) Premises Identification System allows industry and government to locate animals more quickly and accurately to confine a disease outbreak or emergency such as a flood or fire. Animal owners can be notified if an emergency might affect their animals and operation but this can only be accomplished if land locations are registered in the Premises Identification System.

Under Alberta’s Premises Identification Regulation, if you own a livestock animal or poultry, and that animal is kept at a premises other than a commingling site (e.g. stable), you need to apply for a PID Account and obtain at least one PID Number associated to where the animal(s) are located. You must apply for a PID Account within 30 days of assuming ownership of an animal. If you own an animal that is only kept at locations controlled by someone else (e.g. stable) and that animal will never be kept at a premises under your care and control (e.g. farm or acreage), you are not required to register for a PID Account. However, you will need to obtain the PID Number from the operator of the site.

Although only the primary agricultural operation (e.g. home quarter) needs to be registered in the PID System, registering other locations that are not connected to the home quarter will ensure that your operation is better protected. Although you may view your livestock as a pet or companion animal, it is important to obtain a PID Account because your animal can still receive and/or transmit diseases. To find out the species of animals included under the regulation, click here. Even if you only own one animal, it is still necessary to obtain a PID Account.

If you operate a commingling site (e.g. stable, community pasture, fair ground, etc.), you are required to obtain a PID Account, register all your commingling sites and provide the PID Number(s) to the users of your site(s). You must apply for a PID Account within 30 days of assuming ownership or operation of a commingling site.

How to apply and update your account

To apply for a PID Account or to access/update it online:Click here
To apply for a PID Account or to update it by paper application:

(PID paper application forms are also available at AF Field Offices located throughout Alberta and from CCIA Mobile Field Representatives.)

Click here

Registering your premises is one of the best ways to safeguard your animals and it’s free. It is important that you keep your information up to date and you must report account changes within 30 days. For example, this would include changes in account contact information, maximum capacity of the premises and contact information for emergencies. If the PID System does not contain accurate and up-to-date information, the emergency response might be delayed.

Animal owners will need to have a PID Number to:

  • Buy medication for your animals at retail outlets (this requirement took effect on July 1, 2014 as part of amendments to the Animal Health Act)
  • Complete movement documents such as manifest and permits, if required, when transporting your animals.
  • Sell livestock at auction markets
  • Apply for many government sponsored agriculture grants and programs
For additional information on the PID Program:
Important note: Information must be kept up to date so that you can be contacted quickly in the event of an emergency.

Animal Identification

Animal Identification, for poultry, is the ability to identify flocks of birds. Animal identification works with the other pillars of traceability, premises identification and animal movement, to track where animals have been transported and when. Animal identification helps industry and government locate animals to confine a disease outbreak more quickly and accurately.

At this time, there is no nationally or provincially recognized form of physically identifying poultry. If you have questions about animal identification, contact your industry group for more information.

Animal Movement

Animal Movement is the act of tracing livestock and poultry backwards or forwards through the production supply chain based on animal movement records. Movement records are vital because the faster we can locate where poultry has been, the more effectively we can protect animal and human health.

At this time, there are no movement requirements for poultry. It is recommended that you keep a record of all movements when birds are transported from site to site as this information will help track your animals should a disease outbreak ever occur.

Whether you are a commercial poultry producer or have a backyard flock of your own, you play a key role in the traceability system for poultry and livestock in Alberta and Canada. Alberta Chicken Producers (ACP), Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Hatching Egg Producers and Alberta Turkey Producers represent the chicken, table eggs, hatching eggs and turkey production industries respectively. Your appropriate poultry board helps to safeguard your operation in the event of an animal health emergency. For more details, refer to the information on the Alberta Poultry Industry’s Emergency Response Plan summary.


Accurate and current information supporting premises identification, animal identification and movement is crucial to a robust traceability system. Please take care to ensure that information associated with your animals is accurate and that information supporting traceability is documented.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Jennifer Hannesson.
This document is maintained by Katherine Altman.
This information published to the web on October 23, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 16, 2017.