Who would have thought it, that hog producers and the entire industry would actually like reporting the movement of their hogs coming and going.
Jeff Clark, the manager of PigTrace Canada says electronic reporting tools are the most popular for reporting pig movements in Canada. Effective July 1, under changes to Canada’s Health of Animals Regulation, anyone who ships or receives pigs in Canada must report the movement of those animals to the PigTrace Canada database within seven days.
PigTrace in Action, Accomplishments to Date was among the topics discussed recently as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2014.
Clark told the Saskatoon audience options include reporting to the PigTrace.Ca web site through an internet browser or mobile device, by phone or by fax.
“If we look at the number of farms or premises reporting in Canada it’s about 54 to 55 per cent,” he says. “That’s about 4,300 premises in Canada out of about 8,000 and I think as of today which is Nov. 18 it’s almost 200,000 movement events since July 1 so it’s pretty significant. I think we’re getting good buy in.”
Clark says now is not the time to slow down, but to keep it up, to fill in the gaps for people who aren’t reporting, encourage them to report. The mobile browser so far is very popular.
Not a lot of people have real good internet on their computers at home but they have mobile phones with pretty good cellular coverage so that makes the mobile browser a popular hit.
“Some of the larger production companies and abattoirs in Canada are using our automated XML protocol,” he said. “If they already have the information in their system, instead of duplicating it, it just sends it automatically to our system. There’s some work required on that but that alone has accounted for a lot of movements in PigTrace.”
Clark  says Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors are issuing letters of non-compliance with fine structure possibly in place by early 2016.
At the Manitoba Pork Producer meetings, Clark said things are going really well, but that’s not to say there isn’t confusion or misinformation out there but by and large the people they work with and help along, they get on the program.
“The people that benefit are the people that work on our behalf in the pork industry to protect our herd health,” he says. “That’s our chief veterinarians in each of the provinces as well as CFIA. If we have major outbreaks there’s information in PigTrace we can use to trace back and find out sites that may be affected.”
Clark says with recent outbreaks of PED in Manitoba, they used the PigTrace data.
Mostly what producers care about is that it’s easy, it doesn’t cost them money and it’s not a hassle.
“We really customize our tools for them based on their type of production and what their capabilities are,” he adds. “I think once we deal with people it’s pretty positive. It’s the people that maybe don’t get the information that can be frustrated.
Clark says system is still young so it’s going to take some time to build upon the data but it does provide traceability.  •
— By Harry Siemens