By Bruce Cochrane.
An expansion lf the allowable use of the 5-digit herdmark ear tag is expected to help streamline pig movement reporting.
Revisions by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to Canada's list of approved animal indicators is now allowing pigs moved to an auction or assembly yard to be identified with PigTRACE ear tags bearing a farm's 5-digit herdmark, regardless of their next destination.
Jeff Clark, the Manager of PigTRACE Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Pork Council, says the change will help simplify movement reporting.
Jeff Clark-PigTRACE Canada:
Originally we only had one type of ear tag and that was our 15-digit individual identification number with a specific number to each animal.
We knew early on that that would be a difficult number to report.
Each animal would have a different number, it's a difficult number to read.
It's 15 numbers long.
For a long time we had used our herd mark for market hogs going to slaughter.
It's the same number on all pigs coming from a farm.
We really wanted to get that number on an ear tag so we could use it for our cull breeding animal movements and it's come in really handy.
It's a really popular ear tag in comparison to the 15 digit ear tag.
The herdmark ear tag, we managed to get it approved for our cull breeding sow movements.
This most recent change allows, because a lot of the cull breeding sow movements in Canada go from a smaller regional assembly yard to a larger yard and then for export to U.S. slaughter in most cases, so CFIA originally wouldn't allow us to use the herd mark tag on those yard to yard movements which was creating quite a bit of difficulty.
They were starting to enforce it, requiring the 15 digit ear tag on those animals which most of them didn't have so we really have been pushing hard to get the herd mark ear tag approved for yard to yard movements prior to slaughter.
Clark says most sow barns in Canada use the herdmark ear tag both for complying with PigTRACE and for their own herd management.