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Key to Quick Response to Animal Health Emergencies

by 5m Editor
15 May 2009, at 10:33am

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is confident improving the ability to track food products through the production chain will improve Canada's ability to respond to animal health emergencies and improve access to international markets, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Traceability will be the focus of Trace R&D 2009, an international traceability conference and trade show slated for June 2nd and 3rd in Winnipeg that will bring together industry stakeholders, scientists and government representatives to discuss traceability.

Manitoba Pork Council producer services specialist Jeff Clark says, while efforts aimed at enhancing traceability systems are primarily aimed at improving the ability to respond to animal health emergencies, there are also trade implications.

Jeff Clark-Manitoba Pork Council

Speaking specifically for the pork sector, but I think it applies to the rest of the red meat and poultry sectors, the reason for doing this is bolstering our emergency management response for our animal health responders and that is top of mind.

That's what I reinforce with producers is that, if we can isolate a diseased farm and prove that animals off of that farm haven't hit anywhere else, hopefully we can keep international markets open.

Without that kind of information we run a risk of border closure and large scale effects on the economy in the red meat sector.

That's kind of top of mind but I'm really hoping the technology can lead us to improved information management for our producers.

There's a lot of kind of spin-off benefits in that way just for their own business management.

A lot of people talk about market access and getting access to other countries or getting a premium for your animals.

I try to stay away from that.

I don't doubt that that could happen but it's something that we certainly can't guarantee so I try to stay away from the marketing side of things but I am hopeful that it will help open up international markets for the pork sector anyway.


Mr Clark notes several countries are implementing traceability systems, targeting improved access to the premium European markets and he's confident there is an great opportunity for Canada to be a leader and leverage a lot of market access.