The CHDC has great supporters! In a email response to an anti-slaughter advocate, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz gives a clear foreshadowing of the path for horse slaughter traceability in Canada in the near future. Note the involvement of the Horse “Welfare” Alliance of Canada in this scheme…. Please feel free to discuss the subject matter of this letter with MP Ritz, the CFIA, Equine Canada and the HWAC. Please share – Thank You!
The email begins…
Thank you for your email concerning the new Trace Canada national livestock traceability database and its potential impact on Canada’s equine sector.
The Government of Canada, the provinces and territories, and the Canadian livestock industry recognize the benefits of a robust traceability system for the national livestock sector. An effective traceability system will strengthen our national disease management and emergency response capacity, support our ability to provide assurances about the high quality and safety of Canadian products, and help maintain and improve our presence in global export markets.
The Trace Canada database would not have been possible without significant industry and government collaboration at the Industry-Government Advisory Committee on traceability (IGAC). The IGAC includes representatives of national livestock and poultry industry associations, as well as federal and provincial government officials. Equine Canada and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada are members of the IGAC, and both have voiced their support for the Trace Canada database and their interest in using it.
The Canadian horse sector stands to benefit greatly from the development and implementation of this database. The sector will have access to a secure, multi-species database for livestock traceability information. Livestock sector organizations, including Equine Canada and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada, are working with Trace Canada to establish their traceability data requirements based on the business needs of industry. These requirements could include animal identification for individual horses, premises identification for horse farms and horse commingling sites, information about horse movements, and other value-added business information of interest to the horse industry.
Horses are not being considered for traceability regulation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) (Health of Animals Regulations). However, decisions about individual horse identification and traceability can be made by the horse industry. The choice of a voluntary identifier will depend on animal welfare concerns, ease of use, cost-effectiveness, industry capacity and interest. I encourage you to discuss your ideas and interest in horse traceability with your local and provincial equestrian organizations, Equine Canada and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the CFIA will continue to work with industry, governments and Trace Canada as we prepare for the implementation of the national livestock traceability database.
I trust that this information will be useful to you. Again, thank you writing.
Gerry Ritz, PC, MP