The Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) is pleased to announce that it has received funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the Goat Identification and Traceability Project. The project will prepare the Canadian goat industry for mandatory national identification and traceability under the Health of Animals Regulations.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, says “The livestock industry plays an important role in Canada’s economic growth. Investing in a national identification and traceability system for goats will help industry enhance food safety and quality for consumers at home and around the world.”
“I am very pleased that CNGF has received this funding, which will allow us to put in place the necessary components for goat producers for when traceability regulations come into effect” says Beth Peers, CNGF President.
With the funding received from AAFC, CNGF is pursuing this project with a focus on a number of key objectives which include: selection of goat tag identifiers, selection and contracting of a traceability administrator, development of a communications strategy and engaging in awareness activities with producers.
In light of this, CNGF recently hired a Project Manager to oversee and implement the project. Lorraine Stevenson-Hall has returned to the CNGF after successfully leading the development of the Goat On-Farm Food Safety Program in 2013. Lorraine’s extensive experience developing and delivering on-farm food safety programs, including work in Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Food Safety and Traceability Programs Branch, puts her in good stead tolead the project and its multiple components. Lorraine has previously worked for the Egg Farmers of Ontario to deliver the on-farm food safety program, as well as the Canadian Sheep Federation to manage and oversee their on-farm food safety program.
“The goat industry is an exciting and growing industry to be a part of in Canada, and producers have the opportunity to use traceability to their advantage. I look forward to working with the CNGF and producers to prepare the industry for traceability”, says Stevenson-Hall.
This past fall, CNGF launched a tag trial to determine the best identifier options for goat producers. A total of nine identifiers are being trialled by goat producers across the country. CNGF is obtaining valuable feedback on ease of application, readability, and retention of the tags. Selected identifiers will be put forward to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for official approval.
The CNGF has been active on the traceability front for a number of years, including reviewing and providing comments on proposed traceability regulations during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2015 consultation sessions held by the CFIA. CNGF initiated the development of traceability resources for goat producers and its voluntary National Goat Identification Program . In 2014, CNGF also initiated the formation of the National Goat Traceability Committee, comprised of producer representatives from across the country, to help guide the development and implementation of national goat traceability and provide policy recommendations to the CNGF Board.
The proposed regulations from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will include species that share the same diseases. With sheep already included in the regulations, the amendments will include goats and cervids.
For more information, please contact the CNGF.