OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Effective July 1, all Canadian cattle must be tagged with an approved Radio Frequency Identification (R.F.I.D.) tag prior to moving from their current location or leaving their farm of origin. These tags will replace the bar-coded dangle tags.

"A strong traceability system will help Canadian producers get the premium prices their top-quality products deserve around the world," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "With R.F.I.D. technology, we'll be better able to trace an animal, which is not only important to human and animal welfare but also key to the sustainability of the Canadian livestock industry as a whole."

"We have worked with government to move forward on traceability and we believe that de- listing the bar-coded tag will advance traceability initiatives," said Darcy Eddleston, Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (C.C.I.A.) chair. "Although this change may be an additional one- time process for some producers, the ability to easily capture information from the RFID tags will help all producers in the long run."

R.F.I.D. technology is critical to advancing the traceability system and maintaining the speed of commerce that Canadian producers require to remain competitive in the marketplace, said Travis Toews, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. "The de-listing of bar code tags is an important step in enhancing our national I.D. and traceability system," he added.