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Product title :

Traceability in cattle and small ruminants in Canada

Author(s) : K. Stanford, J. Stitt, J.A. Kellar & T.A. McAllister

Summary :

Traceback systems for cattle and small ruminants are of international concern after the outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the European Union and foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom and South America. Implementation of a national or international identification system depends on meeting a balance between cost, reliability/durability, ease of use, data transfer speed, protection from fraud, avoidance of entry into the food chain and animal welfare issues. As of 1 January 2001, Canada has instituted a national identification programme for cattle, which will have annual operating and administrative costs of Can$0.20 per head, excluding ear tags. The system will provide herd of origin traceback and individual animal identification by ear tags for all beef cattle. A number of identification technologies are available that would have advantages over visual tags, but these are currently too costly without government support (electronic identification, deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] fingerprinting), too slow (DNA fingerprinting) or have not been tested sufficiently (retinal imaging) to warrant mandatory inclusion in a national traceback/identification system

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