Traceability in Alberta and Canada

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 What is Traceability? | Traceability in Canada | Traceability in Alberta | Traceability Home

What is Traceability?

Simply put, livestock traceability is tracking the path and the history of an animal or food product. It is the linking of premises identification, animal identification and the recording of movement.
  • It allows the telling of the ‘story’ of our food.
  • Demonstrates the excellence in our food production system.
  • It keeps foreign markets open, contributing to stronger domestic prices.
  • It gives us an edge in the global marketplace.
  • It provides a way to quickly help to identify and contain animal health issues.
Traceability systems are important, effective tools that can be used for many things, including the protection of animal health, public health and food safety. They can help reduce response time, resulting in a reduction in economic, environmental and social impacts of emergency situations such as disease outbreaks. For more information on National Livestock Traceability, click here.

Traceability in Canada

In the summer of 2012, the federal government announced the creation of the Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS). This initiative will bring together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) to reduce costs and simplify data reporting. Once established, the new, independent CATS organization will provide traceability data services for the CCIA, ATQ and other stakeholders. The multi-species traceability system will allow Canada to manage risk proactively and respond to demands from governments and buyers for demonstrable assurances on food safety and biosecurity.

Alberta has taken a national leadership position supporting traceability since 2007.

Traceability in Alberta

The Alberta Animal Health Act was amended to include two new Traceability Regulations in 2009. The Animal Health and Food Safety legislation also introduced new regulations in 2010, with the Traceability Cattle Identification repealing the Traceability Livestock Identification regulation.

The Traceability Branch of ARD was formed in 2008 to advise, communicate and support the roll out the Traceability Regulations. The Branch is dedicated to working closely with industry and other levels of government to build and develop a world-class traceability framework for the livestock and food sector. Activities include:
  • Co-chair the Federal Provincial Territorial Traceability Task Team (FPT TTT) since 2007, providing strong traceability leadership at the national level;
  • Representation on several Industry Government Advisory Committee (IGAC) Working Teams
  • Provide direct assistance to the livestock supply chain – Call us at 780-643-1572;
  • Maintain and improve the Alberta PID system working closely with the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV);
  • Work with CCIA and Livestock Identification Services Ltd (LIS) to coordinate Alberta traceability efforts that feed into the national system ;
  • Develop and provide traceability information and materials at workshops, tradeshows and other agricultural events
  • Support technology pilots and research
  • Support industry/government working groups like the Cattle Movement Working Group to explore and deliver industry-proven traceability solutions
  • Support out-going missions to export markets

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Katherine Altman.
This information published to the web on October 24, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 16, 2019.