OTTAWA, Ontario – Agriculture officials in Canada announced plans to develop, implement and operate a national livestock traceability database.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment of $7.5 million (US$6.7 million) to the Canadian Agri-Traceability Services, a new not-for-profit corporation that brings together the combined experience of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ).

“Traceability plays a significant role not only in preventing and managing a disease outbreak but also in accessing markets globally,” Terry Kremeniuk, chairman, Canadian Agri-Traceability Services. “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.”

The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will focus on development and implementation of the database. The second phase will involve launching the database into operation. Officials said the database will complement work the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is doing through the Traceability National Information Portal.

The database is also part of an initiative to reduce government “red tape”.

“The CCA welcomes the investment in Canada’s traceability system for livestock,” said Pat Hayes, co-chair of the CCA Animal Health and Care Committee and one of CCA’s directors on Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. “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.”