Holstein dairy cows (from http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/ Photo by Scott Bauer.)
GUELPH, Ontario – DairyTrace, a national dairy cattle traceability program will become a reality in the fall of 2020, providing a single, common framework for dairy farmers to track animal identity and movements.
Under federal regulations, everyone who owns or has the possession, care or control of dairy cattle must report animal identity, movement, location, and custodianship information. Lactanet, a farmer-run organization responsible for milk recording, genetic evaluations and knowledge transfer, and Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC ), the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers, have been working collaboratively since 2016 towards the common vision of a national dairy cattle traceability program.
By harmonizing data under a common, national framework, DairyTrace will promote information sharing and potentially add value to research and genetics initiatives, all while aligning with the traceability module of DFC’s quality assurance program, proAction.
“Providing protection and peace of mind to consumers is vital, and when it is fully implemented, DairyTrace will provide a high-quality, national dairy cattle traceability system that takes our industry’s efforts to the next level,” says Gert Schrijver, dairy producer and chairman of Lactanet’s DairyTrace Advisory Committee.
“The launch of DairyTrace will be a pivotal milestone for dairy producers, as it will provide the data management infrastructure needed to provide – for the first time – a true, pan-Canadian picture of the movements of dairy cattle.”
DairyTrace will be managed by Lactanet’s board of directors, with input and collaboration from DFC. DairyTrace takes advantage of existing structures, systems and solutions within the Canadian dairy cattle sector, including partnerships with Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) and Holstein Canada, which provides benefits in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness and timely implementation.
ATQ has expertly led the livestock traceability program in Québec for over 18 years. ATQ will be hosting, supporting, and transferring data to the DairyTrace system and will continue to provide its well-established services to Québec producers via SimpliTRACE.
Outside Québec, dairy producers will continue to purchase dairy bovine tags via the National Livestock Identification for Dairy (NLID) program, which will now be dovetailed alongside DairyTrace customer services. Both will be offered from Holstein Canada.
The announcement follows a separate, related communication from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) last week, recognizing Lactanet Canada as the national administrator responsible for dairy bovine animals under Part XV of the Health of Animals Regulations.