The Harper government is making an important investment to help build a single national livestock traceability system with robust data management capabilities. Parliamentary secretary Pierre Lemieux, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced the creation of the Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS).
"A national traceability system allows Canada to demonstrate our solid farm practices in animal health, our zoning capability, our emergency management, and our food safety systems," said Lemieux. "Knowledge is power in agriculture. This investment will help track information, ultimately protecting the bottom line of our beef, dairy, bison, sheep, and other animal producers."
CATS will bring together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) to reduce costs and simplify data reporting. Once established, the new, independent CATS organization will provide traceability data services for the CCIA, ATQ, and other stakeholders. The Harper Government is providing $500,000 to create the single data system and $265,000 to help the CCIA and ATQ improve their data management capabilities.
The CCIA and ATQ have set up a joint project steering committee to guide the creation of the new integrated data service. "I am very pleased with the process and leadership that CCIA and ATQ have taken in creating a single national database system for all species in Canada. I applaud Minister Ritz on his commitment and funding to support this project that meets national standards and the specific needs of industry and producers," said Richard Maheu, ATQ President.
Steve Primrose, board member with the Canadian Livestock Dealers Association and past chair of the CCIA board of directors, said: "As a cow/calf operator, livestock dealer, and exporter, I am very pleased with the process and leadership CCIA and ATQ are taking to help build a multi-species traceability system which will allow Canada to manage risk proactively and respond to demands from governments and buyers for demonstrable assurances on food safety and biosecurity. As one of the co-chairs of the CATS project steering committee, I applaud Minister Ritz on his commitment to reducing costs, simplifying data reporting, and enhancing data integrity within Canada's traceability programme."
This investment of $765,000 is being made through the government's Canadian Industry Traceability Infrastructure Program, which supports the development of industry-led systems that collect and verify identification and movement data, and that accelerate and increase industry's tracking and tracing capacity. This programme is part of the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative.
• Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative