Manitoba Pork reports information gathered through a 2012, producer survey is playing a key role in developing the infrastructure needed to accommodate swine traceability.
This survey launched by Manitoba Pork in 2012, collected information for use when representing producers to government, to update producer contact Manitoba Pork AGM 2014 022 (1)information and to gather information for the provincial agriculture department to use in assigning premise identification numbers to premises with pigs on them.
Arnie Thorlacius, the industry services coordinator with MPC says they received excellent producer participation in the survey with over 90 per cent of producers that have an active Canadian Quality Assurance account filled out a registration.
“We also received registrations from producers that are not necessarily active on CQA or also from people that were not necessarily still in the industry or were planning on exiting so we actually have a larger number of responses than we have active premises at this point but, in terms of CQA registered premises, we’re just over 90 per cent,” said Thorlacius. “All of the producers that have filled out a registration with us should have a premises ID number now. We’ve sent the information on to the province and they’ve generated premises ID numbers from that.”
He says the premises ID numbers are important because they serve an important role in the new traceability program starting July 1, 2014. Producers that haven’t received a premises ID number must contact his office so they can have one in place before the new regulation comes into effect.
“Under the new regulation both shippers and receivers of pigs must report those movements within seven days,” said Thorlacius.
Jeff Clark, the manager of PigTrace Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Pork Council, told those at the Manitoba Pork’s 2014 AGM, both shippers and receivers must report movements. With less than a month to go at the time of this writing, Clark says custodians of pigs must familiarize themselves with new requirements for reporting pig movements in Canada and the tools in place to do so.
Under amended regulations under Canada’s Health of Animals Act anyone moving pigs must report those movements to the PigTrace Canada database within seven days.
“We are targeting to get that information reported as soon as possible, hopefully real time,” said Clark. “We have a lot of electronic based tools that can help facilitate movement reporting as quickly as possible including a mobile application, a desktop application on the web, different programming instructions for programmers to link commercial herd management software with PigTrace and we also have a toll free number.”
He says they realize not everyone has the technology to do it electronically but that does save PigTrace a lot of time and effort and errors so they’re really promoting the use of electronic reporting tools as much as possible. The requirement is to report shipping information, movement information. When pigs leave one facility to go to another, both the shipper and receiver must report key movement information.
“That is the departure and destination locations, the date and time of loading and unloading, the number of animals as well as the vehicle licence plate and any animal identifiers that must go on the animals,” said Clark.
The PigTrace manager says swine traceability should give Canada’s pork industry an advantage in terms of animal disease response, food safety, and market access. First and foremost the industry developed the program to safeguard the pork industry and it’s not just pigs, it’s livestock as a whole.
“But for our purposes it’s safeguarding the pork industry against animal health issues, food safety issues,” said Clark. “Most recently definitely with PED if we were up and running PigTrace would be an invaluable tool to trace out PED but we know there will be future situations as well. That’s the emergency management side of things.”
He says there are also other opportunities in market access and value added, but their focus is on emergency management.
“We’ll let the traders and people smarter than me find opportunities for the market place and hopefully get some additional dollars flowing into our Canadian industry here,” he adds.
He says they’ve circulated education kits will through the provincial pork organizations across Canada, and a public awareness campaign to draw attention this program is launching and all the information is available on PigTrace.Ca. •
— By Harry Siemens