Traceability: Emergency Management

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Emergency Management and the Premises Identification (PID) System

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. Premises Identification (PID), one of the pillars of traceability, provides a way of linking livestock and poultry to specific pieces of land for animal disease and emergency response situations. This information is collected in the PID System, which is an important tool supporting the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) that helps to protect your animals and preserve your livelihood in the event a disease outbreak or natural disaster.

Registering your premises is one of the best ways to safeguard your animals and it's free. Click here to apply!
What is premises identification?

Premises Identification links livestock and poultry to land locations or premises. The term premises refers to a parcel of land where livestock and/or poultry are born, raised, held, assembled or disposed of. Premises include farms, hobby farms, veterinary clinics with holding facilities, as well as commingling sites such as fairs and rodeos, stables, auction markets, livestock feedlots and abattoirs.

Why is premises identification important?
Premises identification is an important part of an effective traceability system and emergency management plan. In an animal health event, having animal locations and other key information in one system is critical for quick, accurate and cost-effective emergency response.

Determining where animals are, where they have been and what other animals they have come into contact with is very important to:

  • Allow for swift and accurate response in the event of an animal disease outbreak,
  • Respond to natural disasters (e.g. floods, sour gas leaks, fires etc.),
  • Provide better control measures for diseases affecting more than one livestock species,
  • Quickly inform targeted producers of threats and/or control measures,
  • Immediately dispatch emergency resources to targeted locations,
  • Rapidly determine risk-free sites for emergency carcass disposal, and
  • Swiftly define which regions are or are not affected by an outbreak—keeping market avenues open for unaffected producers and preventing unnecessary movement restrictions.
In the event of an emergency, the information registered in your PID Account allows emergency responders to quickly access your contact information and determine the land location of where your animals are kept. During an animal health emergency or natural disaster, you may be quickly contacted if it is determined that your animals may be affected or are in danger. This can only be accomplished if land locations are registered in the Premises Identification System. It is important that you keep your information current and you must report account changes within 30 days. It is vital that your information is updated as it changes so you can receive the best service and support during an emergency. Inaccurate and outdated information can result in the support team not being able to reach you or perhaps not knowing that you and your animals could be at risk!

Real Examples of the System in Use:
In early 2011, after a long, wet and late spring, incredible volumes of water placed unbelievable pressure on the sturdy walls of the Oldman Dam in Southern Alberta. To avoid a catastrophic spill-over, it was determined that a controlled breach would be required.

By utilizing the PID system, emergency response officials were able to determine which livestock operations would be potentially impacted and direct contact was made with affected producers so that they could make arrangements to safeguard their livestock.

In early 2009, H1N1 was discovered on a hog operation in Central Alberta. The PID System was used to quickly identify all hog and/or poultry operations within a 20 km radius. The OCPV was able to rapidly dispatch an emergency task force to ensure that the disease hadn’t spread to other operations. All hog and poultry operations in the area were able to continue to ship to market and resume regular operations.

Only the operation in question was affected by the quarantine.

Who needs to apply?
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. 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.

You must apply for a PID Account within 30 days of assuming ownership of an animal. 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/transmit diseases. Even if you own only 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 do I apply?
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.)

Click here

What information will I need to provide?
  • Name and contact information (phone number, address, email - if you have one),
  • Emergency 24/7 contact information for the premises,
  • Any previously obtained CCIA or Alberta Pork Producers’ premises number for that parcel of land,
  • Location of the premises (e.g. legal land description or geo-referenced coordinates),
  • Type of operation (e.g. farm, abattoir, feedlot),
  • Types of animals born, raised, held, assembled or disposed of on the premises, and
  • Maximum capacity of the operation for each species of livestock.
What is "maximum capacity" and why is it important?
Maximum capacity is not the actual number of animals on the premises. Rather, it is an estimate of the highest number of animals (of the selected species) that the operations(s) on the premises could reasonably accommodate. This information, used in conjunction with the type of species on the premise, allows emergency responders to prepare and respond appropriately.

When will I need to use PID Numbers?
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, programs and licenses.
Is my information confidential?
Your information is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) and the Animal Health Act (AHA). It may be used or disclosed to authorized individuals, in accordance with the AHA, for the purposes set out in the AHA including to plan for or respond to an animal health emergency or to validate premises information held in the system.

It’s crucial to keep your contact information current so that you may be quickly notified and the emergency response is not delayed.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Steven Malowany.
This document is maintained by Kelly Corbett.
This information published to the web on October 17, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 28, 2018.