Traceability Could Benefit All Livestock Species

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council expects the creation of a national swine traceability programme to benefit animal health and food safety officials, the pork industry and consumers, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 19 May 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The Canadian Pork Council is coordinating the development of the swine component of a national multi-species livestock traceability system.

PigTrace, the National Swine Traceability Programme will be among the topics discussed as part of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada biennial joint conference May 31st to June 1st in Winnipeg.

Jeff Clark, the manager of the Canadian Pork Council's national traceability programme, says traceability has a role to play in disease management, food safety and marketing.

Jeff Clark-Canadian Pork Council

At the most basic level and this is what it's always been about is emergency management so if there's a food safety issue, a feed contamination issue, a foreign animal disease issue, it gives animal health officials and food safety officials better tools to do their investigation which in turn definitely saves dollars for industry but also saves dollars for the tax payer and even if it were a full blown crisis would probably save tourism dollars as well.

When you look at other examples around the world, the worst one being the United Kingdom when they has a foot and mouth disease issue, their tourism industry lost a whole pile of money.

On the human health that would be the equivalent to Toronto and the SARS issue that we had.

So it's really about animal health, public safety and if we take it step further hopefully there'll be a market advantage as well that can boost the Canadian pork industry's competitiveness globally which would bring in some more export dollars for the industry and that would help the public in turn.

Mr Clark suggests work being done by the CPC will be applicable to other species.

He says as other commodities come on board and move forward with their own traceability systems they'll have a framework to work with based on what's been done in the pork sector.

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