ID & Traceability

Goat with ear tag

What is Traceability?

  • CFIA states that traceability is the ability to follow an item or group of items from one point in the supply chain to another.
  • The purpose of implementing a traceability system is to ensure the protection of animal health, public health and food safety; improve response times in emergency situations (e.g., disease outbreak, tornadoes, floods, fires, contaminated feed supplement); as well as limit economic, environmental and social impacts.

Why is Traceability Important?

  • Traceability also provides the means to increase market share for domestic and international markets by creating confidence in the attributes of Canadian products.
  • A strong and credible traceability program will help to ensure Canada remains a leading producer and marketer of beef and dairy cattle, bison, sheep and goats, with a stable demand for products at all times.

CNGF’s Role in Traceability

CNGF is working with the National Goat Traceability Committee (NGTC), other national commodity groups and federal and provincial governments to prepare the Canadian goat industry for mandatory national identification and traceability expected to come into effect in 2018. Traceability systems in Canada are based on three basic elements: animal identification, premises identification, and movement reporting.

Timeline Towards Traceability

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reviewed comments made during the last regulatory consultation on proposed livestock identification and traceability requirements held in June 2015. CNGF, in consultation with the NGTC, provided comments on the proposed regulations. In response to those comments, CFIA communicated to industry in March 2016 that the following adjustments to the proposed regulations would be made:

  • Activation of approved indicators or confirmation of approved indicators being applied to a goat will not be required

Since the spring of 2016, CFIA has had several meetings with senior representatives from various councils and agreed to the following modifications to the regulatory proposal:

  • Farm operators will not be required to report the movement of goats within their farm
  • Operators of abattoirs will continue to report the death of animals or receipt of dead animals at their site (tag retirement), and will also report the individual departure of live animals from their site
  • Operators of auction marts and assembly yards will be required to report the receipt of animals as a group and their source if this information is provided on the document accompanying the animals.

Elements that have not changed since the first regulatory consultation include:

  • Operators of farms and feedlots will be required to report the individual receipt of animals to the traceability database administrator
  • Operators of farms and feedlots will be entitled to the passive-reading principle. These operators will also be required to report the source of the animals (premises of departure), if such information is provided on the document accompanying the animals.

The CFIA will be seeking your comments on the proposed regulations upon their publication in Part 1 of the Canada Gazette planned in the fall of 2017.

Animal ID, premises identification, and movement reporting for goats are expected to become mandatory in 2018 once the regulations are published in Canada Gazette II. CNGF will communicate with producers and stakeholders to keep everyone abreast of developments in a timely fashion.

Addressing Producer Needs

Working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the CNGF has advocated on behalf of goat producers to provide input on the proposed requirements in the mandatory animal ID program that addresses their needs.

The Canadian National Goat Federation has taken a leadership role in developing a pan-Canadian approach to goat traceability by establishing the National Goat Traceability Committee (NGTC) and managing a funding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada which will be used to help defray the Committee’s costs.  The NGTC, made up of experienced individuals from the goat sector from across Canada, works with its industry counterparts and federal-provincial government representatives.

One of NGTC’s objectives is to help with development of a proposed national goat traceability strategy.  The strategy will include a governance framework, a financial sustainability plan and an implementation plan.

Additionally, the NGTC has made recommendations for official goat indicators, and a goat traceability administrator.

The NGTC will strive to make recommendations through consensus.


  1. Animal Identification – Associating a unique animal identification number to an animal (i.e. applying a CFIA approved goat indicator (indicator or leg band).
  2. Premises Identification – Assigning a unique identification number to a physical land location (i.e., legal land description or geo-referenced coordinates) by a provincial/territorial premises registry
  3. Animal Movement – Recording the change in location (i.e., unique premises) of a uniquely-identified animal at a specified time/date.

To track animal movement and facilitate a fully-functional, national traceability system, every livestock premises must have a valid, premises identification (PID) number. 1 + 2 = 3

What is the ID & Traceability Program?

Traceability in Canada Brochure

Traceability in Canada Brochure (click image to download PDF)

The ID & Traceability Program will help producers meet regulatory requirements mandated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency under the Health of Animals Act. The program will provide producers with information about how to apply indicators (tags or leg bands), what indicators are approved for goats in Canada, and movement reporting requirements that will be included in the mandatory program. Please like CNGF”s Facebook page, sign up for our email update list, or check our website often for information that will help you meet the upcoming traceability requirements.

Download Traceability in Canada brochure (PDF)

This project was made possible by funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through its Canadian Industry Traceability Infrastructure Program (CITIP). AAFC is pleased to participate in this project and is committed to working with its industry partners to increase public awareness of the importance of the agri-food industry to Canada.