by SUSAN MANN
It will be mandatory for hog farmers and other industry players moving or receiving pigs to report the animals’ movements starting July 1, 2014, and most farmers will be ready for that date, says Jeff Clark, manager of PigTrace Canada.
As part of the system, Clark says people must report the movement to PigTrace’s central database, both for shipping animals and receiving them. Shippers must specify the number of animals being moved, their destination and the license plate number of the vehicle transporting them. Receivers have to report the source of the animals.
The requirement applies to anyone handling pigs, including exhibitions, fairgrounds, producers, assembly yards and slaughter plants.
PigTrace is a program of the Canadian Pork Council, which is made up of the provincial pork organizations across Canada.
Ear tags are required mainly for breeding animals and with the mandatory pig trace system, “the vast majority of animals won’t have to be identified,” Clark says. “It’s just the movement information that we’re after.”
Clark says to get ready for the mandatory system farmers must go through their provincial organization to ensure they are a properly registered producer. Farmers also need to get their premises identification number, which “our provincial governments are giving out.”
The premise identification number is needed to report the movement of animals, he says.
“Most people are up and ready,” he explains, noting PigTrace will be sending out information kits outlining the requirements to farmers, slaughterhouses and assembly yards before the new year.
Clark says people will be able to report their animals’ movement by Internet, mobile phone and through herd management software. For those without computers, reports will be accepted by phone.
The mandatory movement reporting system is designed to help industry and governments respond to disease outbreaks and food safety emergencies. Officials responding to an emergency will be able to “zero in on the issue as quickly as possible because we will already have the information in the system,” he notes. BF