Tagging Sites

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is a not-for-profit, industry-initiated and led organization established in 1998 to create Canada’s national identification program for the cattle industry. CCIA is Canada’s federally-appointed, national Administrator for livestock traceability and animal identification programs for cattle, bison and sheep for the purposes of Part XV of the Health of Animals Regulations, C.R.C. c. 296 (Regulations), as the result of an agreement between Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and CCIA. CCIA is charged with the responsibility to issue approved tags, or cause them to be issued as well as to issue any other identification devices that meet the requirements of Part XV of the Regulations. Additionally, CCIA is tasked with allocating identification numbers, the name and address of the person issued, and record in the CCIA database the identification numbers, the name and address of the person to whom the numbers are issued and a description of the location of any site in respect of which they are issued. As of July 1, 2014, CCIA will also be tasked with maintaining and publishing a list of all approved tagging sites as per the amended section 183 (Tagging Sites) of the Regulations.

While the CFIA provides full regulatory enforcement for animal identification as defined in the Health of Animals Regulations, CCIA administers the identification program for beef and dairy cattle, bison and sheep, and manages the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database, which is a trace-back system that maintains radio frequency identification tag information. The CLTS database allows producers to record tag information pertaining to the three pillars of traceability (i.e., animal identification, premises identification and movement) as well as value-added information (e.g., age verification). The CLTS database was developed and is wholly-owned by Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.

General Requirements for Intermediate Sites: Tagging Sites, Auctions, Feedlots and Assembly Yards

  • All cattle, bison and sheep must have an approved ear tag when they arrive at an intermediate site (e.g., tagging sites, auctions, feedlots and assembly yards).

    Specific Requirements for Auctions:

    • Every person who conducts a public sale, auction or market of any kind of livestock is responsible for keeping a record of the complete legal names and addresses of consignors for every animal received and of purchasers for every animal sold.
    • Operators of auctions must make these records available for inspection when requested.

    Specific Requirements for cattle, bison or sheep at auctions, feedlots and assembly yards:

    • Approved tags applied at auctions, feedlots and assembly yards must be issued to that site.
    • If an auction/feedlot/assembly yard receives cattle, bison or sheep that do not bear an approved tag or that bear a revoked tag, the auction/feedlot/assembly yard must:
      • Apply a new approved tag to the animal;
      • Keep a record of the identification number of the new approved tag and enough information about the animal/carcass to be able to trace its origin, if such information is known; and
      • Report the number of the new approved tag and the number of the previously approved tag to Canadian Cattle Identification Agency within 30 days of the new tag being applied.

    Tagging Sites:

    • Only cattle and bison can be sent to tagging sites to be identified. Tagging sites do not apply to sheep.
    • Effective July 1, 2014, approved tags applied at tagging sites may only be issued to the animal’s farm of origin. The operator of a tagging site may continue to issue approved tags.
    • Some cattle and bison can be difficult to handle and tag safely and effectively. Tagging sites must ensure that:
      • Untagged cattle and bison from different farms are not mixed;
      • Approved tags are applied to untagged cattle and bison as soon as the animals arrive at the tagging site; and
      • Tagging site records are maintained and include enough information about the cattle and bison to allow a trace-back to the animal’s farm of origin. The tagging site must make these records available to Canadian Cattle Identification Agency if asked, and must keep them on file for two years.

    As a result of the new requirements under section 183 of the Regulations that come into force July 1, 2014, CCIA now requires all tagging sites to self-identify and self-declare that they are in fact a tagging site and that they meet and will comply with the requirements under section 183 of the Health of Animals Regulations by reviewing, completing and returning the Tagging Site Declaration form.

    If an operator of an intermediate site wishes to be considered a tagging site, they must complete and return the Tagging Site Declaration form, which provides written authorization indicating the site meets Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulatory requirements.

    IMPORTANT: Terminal sites (i.e., operators of abattoirs, rendering plants and dead stock collection centres) do not qualify to be approved tagging sites under the regulations.

    Click here for a Tagging Site List by region in Canada.

    Click here for a Tagging Site Record Sheet to support tagging site record keeping.

    Click here for a Tagging Site Declaration form.

    Best Practices to Maximize Tag Retention:

    Ideal Placement: Apply tags at approximately ¼ of the length of the animal’s ear from the head between the two branches of cartilage (as shown in the tag placement diagram).
    Ensure the animal is properly restrained, which will help to stabilize its head while you are applying the tag.
    Apply tags as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions.
    Use the recommended tag applicator and pin for the specific tag and brand.
    Use tags and applicators that are clean and free of debris.
    Apply antiseptic to tag and tag applicator between animals while tagging to help control infection.
    Disinfect both sides of the animal’s ear before applying the tag. Do not tag ears covered in debris.
    If possible, tag animals in moderate temperatures.
    Do not apply a new tag in a hole from a lost tag. Cross reference the new tag number with the lost tag number, if known.
    When applying a tag, ensure the male portion of the tag is on the back of the animal’s ear.
    A CFIA regulation amendment requires all cattle to be tagged prior to leaving their farm of origin, including those going to community
    pasture, exhibition site, test station or veterinary clinic - unless the cattle is going to a tagging site.

    Tagging site status refers to an intermediate site that has self-identified and self-declared that they are in fact a tagging site and that they meet and will comply with the requirements under section 183 of the Regulations by reviewing, completing and returning the Tagging Site Declaration form to CCIA and the name of the site is published on the Tagging Site List.

    Tagging sites play an important role in animal identification and with ensuring that approved tags are properly applied to cattle and bison that have not been tagged prior to leaving the herd of origin as well as ensuring data integrity by recording all such applications.

    IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL TAGGING SITES:

    Tagging sites that issue approved tags are subject to requirements under section 174.1 of the Regulations.

    If a tagging site sells approved CCIA RFID tags, that tagging site must become a CCIA-approved tag dealer to comply with CFIA regulations.

    If you are a tagging site that sells approved tags to customers but you are not a CCIA-approved tag dealer, please contact CCIA by toll-free telephone at 1-877-909-2333 or email at tags@canadaid.ca. We will walk you through process to become a CCIA-approved tag dealer and provide educational tools and resources to support you to meet CFIA regulations moving forward.

     
       

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    Canadian Cattle Identification Agency 2009
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