Swine Traceability Promises Disease Risk Reduction and Improved Competitiveness

by 5m Editor
14 April 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1492. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1492

The Canadian Pork Council says, once complete, the new Canadian Swine Traceability system will be both a disease risk reduction strategy and an international marketing strategy.

The Canadian Pork Council is part of a national foreign animal disease initiative designed to develop foreign animal disease preparedness plans for each commodity group, identify necessary legislative changes and facilitate zoning.

Clare Schlegel says we know, from BSE and more recently Avian Influenza, that disease is a risk and a possibility and, a good traceability system will make it possible to reduce the time that an industry is knocked out of the market.

"Canada, over the years, has had a good traceability system, not perfect, not complete and not even coordinated but we've been tracking animals from the last farm to the slaughterhouse for probably 50 years or more.

The system we're talking about will clarify that process and make sure that CFIA has confidence in it so that, when they work with our international trading partners, that they can use that as a base.

The Canadian Swine Traceability system will add three additional components. The one is, where are the animals, where are the farms, how are they identified? The second one is, how do you ID pigs in Canada?

It's going to be answering the question similar to what beef cattle did when they said 'we're going to use tags and this is the numbering system we're going to use' so we're going to answer that question.

The third question it's going to answer, it will identify a movement monitoring system so that when we move pigs from one farm to another we're going to agree that, let's say, pigs move greater than five kilometers we're going to have to record that movement".

Schlegel says traceability offers an opportunity to improve Canada's ability to compete with Denmark, the United States, Brazil and other countries that are exporting pork and it's also a risk reduction strategy.

He says traceability is something our customers are demanding and if we don't have it, they may choose to buy elsewhere.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor