Animal Identifiers: A Crucial Element of Traceability
Managing identifiers is a process that is more complex than it seems. This section presents the established rules and obligations in place, while detailing the continuous sharing of information between systems, which allows for complete traceability as soon as the identifiers are issued.
A rigorous two-level regulation
The manufacturing and supplying of identifiers is regulated at two governmental levels:
• The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
• The Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ)
The CFIA approves and revokes identifiers, as requested by authorized organizations such as Attestra.
The CFIA’s requirements are the following:
• The transponder must be certified by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) and must comply with ISO-11784 and ISO-11785 standards.
• Performance and compliance tests must be performed:
• Laboratory tests
• Field testing in Canada over a defined time period, up to a year
• The tests are done on the farm, with different reading equipment, to ensure the readability of identifiers throughout the traceability chain, especially in auctions that use specific reading devices.
• The identifier must meet the following criteria:
• Good long-term ear retention
• Reading performance
• Compatibility with all identifier reading equipment
• Upholding the previous criteria all along the chain, from the farm of origin through to the auction, and all the way to the slaughterhouse
MAPAQ requires that animals be identified with two approved identifiers: an electronic tag and a visual panel with the same number