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Emergency Management Preparedness Identified as Key to Successful Traceability System

by 5m Editor
3 November 2006, at 12:02pm

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2292. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2292

Manitoba's chief veterinary officer suggests the primary focus of any livestock traceability system needs to be emergency management preparedness.

Canadian agricultural groups are working with federal, provincial and territorial governments to develop a national integrated traceability system.

Chief veterinary office for Manitoba Dr. Wayne Lees suggests, to be effective, any system for tracking livestock movement must be mandatory, involve all species and be capable of quick response to an emergency.

There are really three reasons why we want to do a traceability system. The first reason is emergency management. That is we need to be able to manage a foreign animal disease or manage a food recall.

The second reason is that we need to plan for those emergencies. As we plan, we need that information to know about how many animals are we going to deal with in a particular area, about how do the animals move.

The third reason really is to benefit producers so that we can trace products up and down the production chain so that if we have, say, hormone free beef or some particular attribute that we can actually verify that the information is being transmitted along with that product so that the consumer is confident that's what they're buying. The highest standard is really for emergency management.

If we can do emergency management then we can do the other two things, the planning for emergencies and the market access, however, if we build a system solely on market access attributes, then the quality of information is not sufficient such that we could actually manage an emergency effectively.

Dr. Lees believes livestock identification and traceability needs to be multispecies and involve all producers.

He notes animals not included would create weak links and leave the entire system vulnerable.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor