December 12, 2003



Canada Grant C$111,200 To Sheep Federation To Promote National Animal Identification


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has granted C$111,200 to help the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) raise awareness of the importance of national animal identification in the fight against the spread of diseases.


The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is an industry-led initiative to develop a trace back system that will address producer concerns about sheep health and meet consumer expectations for food safety and quality. CSIP approved ear tags are now available and as of January 1 2004, all sheep and lambs must bear an approved tag before leaving any premises.


The funding comes from the Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development (CARD) fund's $5.8 million allocation for 2003-04 dedicated to advance the Food Safety and Quality element of the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF).


The federal support will be used to publish details of the program in industry journals, brochures, posters, and on the organization's website. The federation is also planning to host nationwide information sessions for producers and industry stakeholders later this year.


"It is imperative industry stakeholders and ultimately the Canadian consumer have timely and relevant information related to the history of animals," said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief. "This funding will help Canada's sheep industry get the word out on new programming in the important area of traceability.  Effective identification systems are key to maintaining domestic and international confidence in Canada's safe and well managed livestock industries."


"We are pleased to receive financial support from the federal government," said Jennifer Vollmar, CSF Executive Director. "An effective communication strategy cannot be implemented without adequate resources.  This funding will help ensure the success of our program."


"The implementation of our program is timely and its success is crucial," added CSF Chair Randy Eros who explained that the recent discovery of mad cow in one Canadian cow has heightened everyone's awareness of the need for effective livestock identification. Eros emphasized the ongoing costs of the program will ultimately be paid for by producers when they purchase the required tags.


The CSF is a national, non-profit organization representing all Canadian sheep producers. Its mission is to work with all levels of government and industry related organizations to further the viability, expansion and prosperity of the Canadian sheep and wool industry.

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