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HomeNewsLloyd Ex joins chorus of concern over new livestock traceability proposals

Lloyd Ex joins chorus of concern over new livestock traceability proposals

Industry voices including the Lloyd Ex are pitching their concerns over new CFIA proposed livestock traceability regulations.

The proposals will place extraordinary responsibility on the not-for-profit, volunteer-driven, facility operators, says Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies to among other things administer the tags of animals coming to its facilities for events like fairs and rodeos.

GM at the Lloydminster Exhibition Jackie Tomayer says what the proposal means is that the Lloyd Ex and similar associations will be responsible for tracking an animal once it’s on their property either for a bull sale or just a 4-H club event. She foresees another expense for ag associations.

“It would cost a lot of man-hours. So we would have to hire staff to administer this program for the federal government, whether its full time staff, part time staff or volunteers. It would be a fairly large burden to our association to try and find the hours that it would take to conduct the federal government’s traceability program.”

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The mechanics of the program will mean that an animal that comes to an event without a tag will be tagged by the host association or turned away.

The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions in a survey done in the summer say that 90 per cent of exhibitors do not want the fairgrounds tagging their animals.

The federal government’s consultation period runs until June 16 and stakeholders can submit concerns online.

Ag associations indicate they support livestock traceability, but the process must be simple for everyone.

Tomayer says the onus should stay with animal owners and not be passed on by the federal government.

“Our position would be that it would still stay at the hands of the producer – the movement of their animals. We don’t necessarily house these animals for a long period of time – they may come in for a 4-H clip-and-wash-day. They may come in for a couple days, but we never take possession of those animals. So to have us now track the movement of those animals – we think it should stay with the producers.”

The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions has expressed its support for the objectives of the proposed changes “to mitigate the impact of disease outbreaks, food safety issues and natural disasters. However, they point out that only 29 per cent of fairs have sufficient people to run ag shows and 83% of the people involved volunteer their time with some 844,000 volunteer hours annually across Canada. As well, 79 per cent of fairs do not have adequate facilities to administer the tagging of animals.

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