Annex R: The Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) for the Export of Beef to the European Union (EU)
Components of the program
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the competent authority responsible for certifying meat and meat products to the European Union (EU). In order for CFIA to provide export certification for beef produced without Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) there must be assurances of effective controls in all applicable phases of cattle production. The following 10 items provide the basic, mandatory components of the Canadian certification program:
- animals will be identified under Canada's national livestock identification and traceability program
This is done by tagging with an approved tag which provides unique identification for the animal in a single use and tamper evident tag. Mixed status farms will require EU eligible animals to be identified with an alternate visual identifier as well, which is easily discernable during a walkthrough inspection. This program also requires that this procedure be implemented prior to any processing activity which may lead to administration of GEPs. If the farm has an alternate proposal for a program to allow for visual distinction of eligible animals from non-eligible animals or the timing of application of alternate visual identifiers, they may propose this to their CFIA Approved Veterinarian for evaluation as an acceptable equivalence.
- as per the Health of Animals Regulations, the animal must be identified with this approved tag prior to leaving its farm of origin
In the event that an approved tag is lost during the growing period, or if the animal bears a revoked tag, replacement may be done by a designated individual at the farm/feedlot. Replacement tag records (Annex R-9 or an equivalent on-farm document) must be kept.
- animals must originate from registered farms/feedlots
The birth farms must be registered prior to the animal's transfer to another registered operation. Feedlots and auction markets must be registered prior to the animal's arrival at the feedlot or auction market. In order to apply to this program, the producer feedlot operator or auction market responsible person and the CFIA Approved Veterinarian will complete an enrolment form (Annex R-3) following the completion of a Growth Enhancing Products (GEPs) assessment and on-site assessment (annex R12) issuance of an Annual Certificate of Compliance (Annex R-7.1). The maximum validity of this certificate is 1 year. In a case of a farm on a CFIA recognized/certified management system the enrolment form (Annex R-4) will be completed by the producer only. Enrolment form and producer's declaration (Annex R-3 and Annex R-4) must be completed and signed each year.
- registered farms/feedlots must maintain accurate and up to date inventory of animals enrolled in the program (Annex R-5 or Annex R-6)
- animals may only be transferred to registered farms or auction markets in order to maintain their eligibility in the program
- traceability of eligible animals must be maintained from birth through the slaughter process
CFIA accepted transfer documentation must be supplied on arrival at a slaughter establishment approved to export to the EU.
- animals must never be administered any GEPs during their entire life
A list of prohibited products is available in Annex R-2.
- registered farms which use GEPs (including those used in feeds) or have GEPs on their premises must record the purchase or receipt of any GEPs as well as the use or disposal of these products
- all registered farms must maintain records identifying ingredients in any mixed feeds or feed supplements fed to animals enrolled in the program as well as the source of these feeds and supplements
- records required by this program must be made available to CFIA or EU Officials on demand and retained for the following periods:
- birth farms – minimum of 3 years from date of birth of calves; and
- feedlots and auction markets – minimum of 2 years from the date cattle were received.
Adherence to the 10 mandatory components of this program will be monitored by a CFIA recognized/certified management system or by a CFIA Approved Veterinarian. On-site assessments are performed a minimum of once per year.
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