Ritz Announces $7.5 Million for New Livestock Traceability Service

The federal government has announced a $7.5 million investment in a new agency that will look after developing and operating a national livestock traceability database.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the funding for the Canadian Agri-Traceabiity Services in Calgary today.

CATS is a not-for-profit corporation that brings together the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ). Its formation was originally announced in 2012.

”Traceability plays a significant role not only in preventing and managing a disease outbreak but also in accessing markets globally. By combining the best from two separate traceability databases presently operated by CCIA and ATQ, the state of traceability in Canada will be improved while reducing the costs for industry and simplifying data reporting for producers,” said CATS chair Terry Kremeniuk in a news release.

The government says CATS will administer a database that will “collect, maintain and manage information in accordance with national standards, federal and provincial regulations, and the specific needs and requirements of industry.” The new tracking system is supposed to cut red tape and complement the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Traceability National Information Portal.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association is welcoming the funding, saying a more efficient tracking system would be beneficial to producers.

“This investment will help the Government of Canada deliver on its commitment to reducing red tape and in turn the costs of traceability, something livestock producers greatly appreciate,” said Pat Hayes, co-chair of CCA’s Animal Health and Care Committee and one of CCA’s directors on Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.

Funding for the project is coming from the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward 2.

Related: Let’s Blow Our Own Horn About Canadian Beef

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