In the animal production sector, Quebec's agricultural system of permanent identification and traceability is based on three (3) fundamental characteristics:
- A single, multi-species database, jointly managed by industry and senior government representatives
- The identification of animals within the first few days of birth
- All animal births and movements are recorded in the database
This entails, on one hand, the identification of all animals (individuals or by lots) and premises; and on the other hand, the declaration of all animal movements from one link in the value chain to another for any given production, all recorded in the centralized Agri-Tracabilité Québec database (see diagram below).
Identification of animals
As shown in the pictures below, the official identifiers vary from one production to another. Nevertheless, they must all be installed following strict instructions, in order to ensure optimum retention.
For the bovine sector, the identifiers consist of an electronic (RFID) tag and a visual panel (dangle) tag with bar codes recognized by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). These identifiers have a 15-digit ISO number, a unique number that will follow the animal for its entire life.
For the ovine sector, the identifiers also consist of an electronic (RFID) tag and a visual panel (dangle) tag. Here again, each animal has its own 15-digit ISO number, a unique number that will follow the animal for its entire life.
The official identifiers for the cervid sector consist of an electronic (RFID) tag and/or a visual panel (dangle) tag. These identifiers have a unique 15-digit ISO number that will follow the animal for its entire life.
Site (premises) identification
A site is a location, a building or a pasture where the animals are apt to be kept or moved through. Examples of these are a sheep barn, an auction market, a transport truck, a livestock collection or sorting centre, etc. Each of these receives a unique seven (7) digit number and is georeferenced in the ATQ database.
Stakeholders receive premises cards, similar to the one shown at the right, for each site where they keep animals. The card is displayed at the premises entrance.
Declaration of animal movements
Each animal must be registered in the database at birth or upon its arrival in Quebec. Subsequently, each of the animal's movements must be reported to ATQ, as well as its death, whether it occurs on the farm, at the slaughterhouse or elsewhere.
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