Cattle Indentification Tags

Res #: 22-04A
Number: 22
Year: 2004
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Resolution No. 22-04A

WHEREAS, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency is planning to replace its bar coded tags, as of January 1st, 2005, with electronic tags; and

WHEREAS, this is in response to the need for an enhanced national identification program; and

WHEREAS, this would mean that cattle producers would also have to have an alternate visual tag; and

WHEREAS, the financial responsibility for the identification of all livestock, be it cattle, bison, elk, sheep, goats, etc., for food safety, should be the responsibility of all Canadians through our Federal Government;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Federal Government of Canada to provide these electronic tags at no cost to producers of ruminant livestock.

Response from the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

The Government of Canada has contributed approximately $2 million to help implement the Canadian Cattle Identification Program (CCIP). These funds were provided primarily for infrastructure such as the development of the national database. Capital expenditures, however, such as purchasing identification tags for producers, are not an eligible expense under federal funding guidelines.

Our position is also reflected in the phrase "buy and apply", which has been used by the CCIP since the onset of the program in 2001, to describe the responsibilities of the producer for purchasing approved tags and applying them to their animals before departure from the herd of origin. The Government of Canada also assumes the ongoing enforcement costs associated with the CCIP and the Canadian Sheep Identification Program.

Furthermore, on January 9, 2004, my predecessor announced funding and further details of enhanced measures for identification, tracking and tracing, and increased bovine spongiform encephalopathy surveillance and testing. These measures are all intended to enhance food safety and support public confidence in Canadian Beef.