Pig identification on live exports must be fully compliant with the national pig traceability standards set by the Canadian Pork Council’s (CPC) PigTrace Canada program. As of November 1, 2014, USDA will no longer accept former methods of identification; specifically, CFIA-allocated site identification numbers and metal Health of Animals (H of A) tags. PigTrace offers two forms of pig identification that are acceptable for live exports:
- Herd Mark: A 5-character, site-specific identifier (e.g., 43218) that is registered with CPC’s provincial member organizations. This is commonly known as the “shoulder slap tattoo number”. Exported pigs can bear the herd mark as an ear tattoo or ear tag. Ear tags are only available for purchase through the PigTrace program (1-866-300-1825) or by contacting your provincial pork organization.
- Individual ID: A 15-digit individual identifier that is unique to each pig (e.g., 124 000 401 234 567). Ear tags are only available for purchase through the PigTrace program (1-866-300-1825) or by contacting your provincial pork organization.
The requirement to begin using PigTrace identification for export came into effect on July 1, 2014 when the amendment to the Health of Animals Regulation came into force, mandating pig traceability in Canada. CPC negotiated a transition period with USDA and CFIA to allow Canadian pig exporters time to switch to PigTrace identifiers. November 1, 2014 was the agreed upon transition deadline.
USDA border services agents estimate that less than 50% of the pigs currently exported from Canada to the U.S. have the proper PigTrace identification. Changes must take place immediately to avoid having loads rejected U.S. entry due to improper identification.
Friday October 10, 2014/ Manitoba Pork/ Canada.