CCIA data must be re-entered

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Saskatchewan cattle producers who entered a premises ID in the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency database will have to re-enter the information.


The CCIA and the provincial government wanted to move the information through a data dump, but that wasn’t possible.


“We can’t move the data,” Tom Schwartz, executive director of the agriculture ministry’s livestock branch, said during the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association’s recent annual meeting. 


“Some of the premises IDs are in there two or three times. We would rather start over with the correct information.”


Saskatchewan is establishing a premises ID system based on the one in Alberta.


CCIA chair Mark Elford estimated that 75 percent of the province’s cattle had already been entered in the CCIA system.


“However, those identifiers that are in CCIA’s database cannot be verified because all of the land registry information is held within the province,” he told the meeting. 


Elford said he knew producers wouldn’t be happy at having to start over, but added it’s important to have a premises ID in the case of an emergency.


“It’s still not a mandatory piece in Saskatchewan, but it is an important piece,” he said.


Premises ID is the second of three aspects that make up the traceability initiative.


Animal identification was the first and is generally in place across Canada. Elford said eight or nine provinces are now working on premises ID, which is intended to provide a unique identifying number to a file in case of a disease outbreak.


Animal movement is the third aspect, and Alberta is already recording this information.


Elford said the CCIA’s goal is a seamless move to movement recording.


“There has been a bit of a tradeoff as we go forward on the movement piece that if we’re finding yearlings at some point we are going to have to record those,” he said.


The CCIA says movement recording will be only at the read-in point.


Meanwhile, the industry continues to move to a single traceability database for the country after the federal government said it would no longer pay for both CCIA and Agri-Tracabilite Quebec.


Canadian Agri-Traceability Services (CATS) was announced two years ago and was finally incorporated last August. It will be the database for all livestock, not just beef cattle, and will be where the Canadian Food Inspection Agency obtains information in case of a disease outbreak.


“CCIA is, and will remain, the sole national administrator for beef cattle outside of Quebec. ATQ will still be the provider within Quebec,” Elford said.

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