The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has ordered that all cattle must be tagged with CCIA-approved RFID tags as of January 1, 2010. Consequently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will strike bar code tags from the approved animal tag list.
Since September 1, 2006, RFID tags have been the only CCIA-approved means of tracking cattle. However, producers have been allowed to gradually to phase out their use of bar codes leading up to the December 31, 2009 deadline.
The CCIA recommends that bar code tags already applied to the animals’ ears should not be removed. Rather, the producers should apply RFID tags in addition to the bar code tags and cross-reference the two in the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS). The CCIA argues that this is essential to maintaining the integrity of the traceability system.
The order to adopt RFID comes on the strength of RFID’s ability to monitor animal movements in real-time, thus allowing producers to better catch the early signs of disease.
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