Saskatchewan livestock producers wanting to take part in provincial programs will soon have to have a valid premises identification (ID) number.
The provincial and federal governments on Thursday announced the new requirement for Saskatchewan producers will take effect “over the coming months.”
The province has had a voluntary premises ID (PID) program in place since June 2014, but fewer than 3,000 of the province’s livestock and poultry producers, veterinarians, feedlots and other livestock commingling sites are enrolled today, the government said.
“With a full PID database, we’ll be in a better position to prevent or respond to an animal disease outbreak or natural disaster,” provincial Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said in a release.
Full PID participation “is necessary to make the system effective,” the province said, noting Alberta and Manitoba already mandate enrolment in their PID programs. Quebec and Prince Edward Island have similar requirements.
While PID systems fall under provincial jurisdiction, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is working up new regulations that would require all provinces to have PID systems in place and actively seek producer participation.
Such regulations are expected to be drafted for review later this year, CFIA officials have said.
Livestock groups such as the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association have previously pressed for mandatory PID in the province and hailed the move Thursday.
“I want to make sure I’m in the best position possible to protect my cattle if a disease outbreak happens,” SCA vice-chair Rick Toney said in the province’s release.
“That’s why registering for a PID number just made sense; it was an easy way to make sure my cattle would be safe in an emergency.” — AGCanada.com Network