Canadian Sheep Identification Program

Download 100KBK pdf file ("CSIP - RFID tags for AB sheep Jan 2015.pdf")PDF
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 Purpose and description
The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is an industry-led initiative. It was initiated as the first step in developing a trace back system for sheep. Traceability programs have been developed globally to address concerns about sheep health, assist in managing emergencies like disease outbreaks, and also to support consumer expectations on food quality and safety.

Traceability systems are based on accurate identification of animals, identification of the premises where the animals are kept and the ability to track animals throughout their life. Through CSIP the sheep industry has worked with governments to establish standards that align with the requirements for livestock species in Canada. CSIP has worked to approve sheep identifiers that are affordable, flexible, and effective. To do that pilot projects were undertaken on farms in Quebec and Alberta that put ear tags to test in Canadian flock conditions. For CSIP approval tags must meet specific criteria for ease of application, retention and readability (visual and electronic). Tag manufacturers must follow international standards for unique animal identification and tag quality.

CSIP tags are used across Canada. They are one of the tools necessary for responding to disease outbreaks, for handling emergencies like floods and fires, and for addressing product quality issues. CSIP tags also help make disease eradication programs, such as the national scrapie program, not only more effective but more credible.

Complying with CSIP
As of January 1, 2004 Canada implemented mandatory sheep identification through the use of unique visual tags. As the times and technology changed in 2010 the industry moved to requiring CSIP radio frequency identifiers (RFID tags). There are currently two approved ear tags.

Under Part XV of the Canadian Health of Animals Regulations sheep must be tagged with an approved tag, a CSIP tag, before leaving the farm of origin. Producers must retain records of tags, of tagged animals and of animals that have moved off the farm. Moving off the farm includes animals leaving the premises temporarily (for example to exhibitions, veterinarian clinics, community pastures). Whether a flock of 1,000 or of 1, tagging sheep before they move off their birth farm is the law, it is not optional.

Read more about the Canadian Sheep Identification Program

CSIP tags for Alberta producers are shown on the attached pdf

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This document is maintained by Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on August 20, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 11, 2016.