How it works

Protection. Prosperity. Peace of mind.

Traceability is the process of following an item or a group of items – be it animal, plant, food product or ingredient – from one point in the supply chain to another, either backwards or forwards. The concept, introduced to the dairy industry about 25 years ago, was designed for emergency management to respond quickly to animal health, public health and food safety issues.

Canadian Dairy Cattle Traceability Reporting Requirements

Three Pillars of Traceability

Premises Identification

The identification of sites where animals are born, kept, assembled or disposed.

Animal Identification

A unique lifetime identification number applied to each animal (ear tag).

Movement Reporting

Reporting animal movement events using the premises and tag identification numbers.

The Health of Animals Regulations and Food Products Act ensure that dairy foods intended for human consumption can be traced from the consumer’s plate back to the farm of origin. These regulations, along with proAction®, set the traceability standards related to animal identification, tag application, movement and requirements.

Is Traceability Regulated?

Livestock traceability in Canada is guided by regulatory requirements at the Federal level, though both provincial/territorial governments and livestock industry partners who collaborate and contribute to the system via mandatory and voluntary approaches.

Everyone who owns or has the possession, care or control of dairy cattle must record and report the following information to DairyTrace:

  • animal identity
  • movement
  • location
  • custodianship information

Find your provincial coordinator

Dairy producers and other stakeholders have various options for submitting traceability information. These methods may differ to respect government regulations in each province.

If you have questions about the traceability module of proAction and its requirements, please contact your provincial traceability coordinator.

British Columbia

BC Dairy Association
Morgan Sangster

604-294-3775 ext. 212


Alberta Milk
Morgan Hobin

780 577-3318


Tina Leverton

306 570-4747


Dairy Farmers of Manitoba
Seylene Chestley

204 488-6455


Dairy Farmers of Ontario
Kateryna Dmytrakova

905 817 2166


Les Producteurs de Lait du Québec
Marie-Pier Beauchamp

450 679-0540 (ext.8895)

New Brunswick & Nova Scotia

Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick & Nova Scotia
Phill Parlee (interim)

506 435-2117

PEI & Newfoundland

Dairy Farmers of Prince Edward Island
Nancy Tedford

902 892-5331

Reporting Traceability Events

When a proAction® validator visits your premises, they may ask to see animal records. All identification, movement and location information, including tag retirement, must be reported to DairyTrace and records must be kept for a period of five (5) years (10 years for farmers in Alberta).

Lactanet and Holstein Canada have excellent tools to help with on-farm traceability compliance. There are also software solutions that are fully automated to capture, record, and report right to DairyTrace. For those that prefer paper, contact Customer Services for information about hardcopy forms and other options.

To find your best reporting option(s), please refer to our new Reporting Methods Guide for more details.

Reporting through DairyTrace

Jennifer Peart explains how reporting through DairyTrace has encouraged best practices on her farm