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Food animal Identification

Requirements for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

Mandatory Identification for Cattle, Bison, Sheep and Pigs as per Health of Animals Regulations

The information in this document pertains strictly to requirements for operators of slaughter establishments described under Part XV of the Health of Animals Regulations. The information within may also be used as a means for a licence holder to meet some traceability requirements of part 5 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

Under the Health of Animal Regulations, no person shall remove, transport or receive (or cause the removal, transportation or reception) of bison, bovine or sheep that does not bear an approved tag. This applies to bison, bovine and sheep deadstock as well. Additionally, no person shall remove, transport or receive (or cause the removal, transportation or reception) of a pig unless the pig bears an approved tag or an approved slap tattoo. The only exception is for pigs that have never been bred that are moved between farms.

Consult the Approved Animal Indicators list to verify indicators approved under the TRACE program.

If the cattle, bison, sheep or pig (as applicable), loses its approved tag on the way to the abattoir for slaughter, it is not necessary to apply a new approved tag provided that the operator keeps a record with all information known to enable the origin of the animal to be traced. Those records shall be kept for two years.

If a bison or a bovine bearing an approved tag is slaughtered at the abattoir or otherwise dies at an abattoir, the operator shall report the slaughter or the death of the animal and the number of the approved tag to the responsible administrator within 30 days after death. Reporting the identification number of approved tags borne by sheep being slaughtered (or otherwise dying) at an abattoir is not required.

In the case of pigs, the operator of the abattoir shall report, within seven days after the reception of the pigs, the following information to the responsible administrator:

This information on pigs shall also be kept in records for a minimum of 5 years.

As per section 176 and 176.1 of the Health of Animals Regulations, every operator will ensure that all cattle, bison, sheep and pigs leaving the facility bear an approved tag. Depending on their destination, the approved slap tattoo can be an alternative for pigs. Should a cattle, bison, sheep or pig not bearing an approved indicator have to be removed from a license holder`s establishment without being slaughtered, the operator of the abattoir shall apply one before removing the animal. The approved indicator being applied shall be issued to the abattoir and a record with information enabling the origin of the animal to be traced shall be kept.

Should cattle, bison or sheep deadstock be received at the abattoir for disposal, the operator shall:

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