Data integrity is key to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency s efforts, but a recent audit found major problems.
If we are going to rely on this information to market cattle internationally, we have to know that the information we have is correct, said CCIA chair Darcy Eddleston.
A consultant recently found 1.2 million errors in their database, the majority of which were generated at the retail distribution level because sellers had failed to report sales of tags within 24 hours.
So, when the producer would age verify the tag, it would generate an error, said Eddleston. When they would go to a feedlot, that would generate an error. When they got to the packing plant to be retired, that would generate an error.
One slip-up, it was found, caused multiple errors in the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) database.
With 1,452 retailers and distributors of tags in Canada, there was ample room for mistakes, he added. The audit last summer found that 372 retailers had not reported the sale of a tag within that last 10 months.
Those 372 retailers have 182,000 unaccounted-for tags in the system. We don t know where they are or what s happened to them, he said.
To shorten the supply chain and cut down on errors, the CCIA is planning to phase in a plan within one year to become the sole supplier of tags for the industry. He noted that dairy, pork and some beef programs are already supplying tags.