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 was introduced to the dairy industry about 25 years ago for emergency management and to respond quickly to animal health, public health and food safety issues.
Traceability is based on three pillars:
- 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.
- Record and report animal movement
Reporting animal movement events with premises and tag identifications.
It is mandatory for all calves born on Canadian dairy farms to be identified with a unique tag number at birth and this number stays with them throughout their lifetime. In fact, traceability affects over 1.4 million dairy cows on over 10,000 farms.
DairyTrace is the national dairy cattle traceability program administered by Lactanet Canada. DairyTrace provides protection, prosperity and peace of mind to the Canadian dairy industry and its customers in the event of emergency management.
Dairy producers and affiliates report their traceability data to DairyTrace, and the system then captures and manages information on dairy cattle across Canada.
Traceability is one of six modules of the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) proAction® initiative. In partnership with DFC, the DairyTrace program is run by Lactanet Canada, the national traceability administrator for dairy cattle and center of dairy expertise in Canada.
Under federal regulations and/or the proAction requirements, everyone who owns or has the possession, care or control of dairy cattle must report animal identity, movement, location and custodianship information to DairyTrace. Dairy producers and other stakeholders have various options when submitting traceability information. These methods may differ to respect government regulations in their respective province.
The Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) is administered by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA), which is the national organization responsible for beef cattle traceability outside of Quebec, as well as for caprine, ovine, cervid and bisony. As the dairy industry has unique needs to that of the beef sector, Lactanet Canada is now the new traceability administrator for dairy cows, as well as all offspring born from dairy cattle, under the DairyTrace program. CCIA will continue to service beef operations.
To simplify this transition, dairy producers outside of Québec will no longer submit traceability data to the CLTS but rather to DairyTrace. Non-producer stakeholders/affiliates (i.e. abattoirs, assembly yards, etc.) outside of Quebec may continue to report events for dairy cattle to CCIA and the data will automatically flow from CCIA to DairyTrace.
Tag distributors have not changed, although the DairyTrace logo, tag order forms and other branding has. If you reside in Quebec, you will continue to order tags from Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ). If you reside outside of Quebec, the National Livestock Identification for Dairy (NLID) will continue to be your tag distributor.
Reporting has never been easier and you have several options. Our newly developed DairyTrace app, on-line portal, and other on‐farm herd management software programs, can provide the convenience of automated reporting.
For producers needing non-electronic options for reporting, paper forms can be downloaded from the DairyTrace web site or ordered from customer services and submitted to DairyTrace by mail, fax or email.
Other industry partners, such as breed associations, can also receive, send and report event information to the DairyTrace database on your behalf for registered animals. Alternatively, you can also report directly to DairyTrace by contacting our customer service center by mail, phone or email.
Search your app store to download the DairyTrace app onto your mobile device. Don’t forget, you must first activate your DairyTrace account on-line or through DairyTrace customer services before you can work with the app.
Quebec has its own provincial traceability regulations, therefore if you live in Quebec, there is no change and you will continue to use SimpliTRACE. This data will be transferred to DairyTrace behind the scenes.
Another very important change is the availability of a new white single button RFID tag for dairy animals born outside the province of Québec. This new tag is allowable under proAction® requirements as an exception for identifying calves born on a dairy farm that are destined to leave the farm at a young age for the meat sector. The white single button tag is designed to replace the current allowable use of yellow button tags and keeps those animals within the DairyTrace system. All other animals on dairy farms across Canada must be double tagged.
In addition to the new DairyTrace website, mobile app, and on-line portal, there will be some changes to the branding on forms, tags and other materials.
DairyComp and Lac-T automatically report traceability events directly to the DairyTrace database. Talk to Lactanet customer service agents about herd management software solutions. You may also contact your breed association to inquire about services they may have available.