At a Glance
At a Glance
Traceability is a tracking system that makes it possible to track the origin and destination of cattle. This traceability serves as a reference regarding product origin and quality.
Many countries around the world have already set up or are currently developing livestock identification and traceability systems. These are tools (tattoos, metal rings, electronic markers) that ensure faster and more effective action in a health crisis. This system reduces the impact of a livestock disease, in addition to offering traceability from the farm to the table.
Traceability: a work in progress
Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing the origin and even the "history" of the products they consume. They are also increasingly willing to rely on local agriculture.
For these reasons, the FPBQ is calling on the Quebec government to pass regulations to complete the work begun between the farm and the slaughter plant. Traceability must be extended to every link in the commodity chain, all the way to the consumer. Identification of the country of origin of imported foods should also be compulsory.
In Canada and Quebec
In Canada, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is responsible for enforcing the permanent livestock identification system. Since January 1, 2001, Canadian cattle and bison must have an ear tag before leaving their herd of origin. This tag must be maintained to the point of carcass inspection at the slaughter plant.
In 1999, the Quebec government and the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) agreed to establish a permanent identification and traceability system for agricultural products from the farm to the table. Agri-Traçabilité Québec inc. (ATQ), an independent non-profit organization, was created in September 2001.
Since July 1, 2002, every beef and dairy animal in Quebec must have two tags. At the animal's birth or upon its arrival on Quebec soil, the producer must attach a small visual tag to one of the animal's ears, displaying a unique number, a bar code and two logos. In the other ear, the producer places a round electronic ring the size of a dollar coin. Bearing the same number as the panel tag, this identifier contains an electronic chip that allows automatic errorless reading of the animal's identify with a device designed for this purpose.