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Comments under Review on Health Rules Changes

17 August 2012, at 7:38am

CANADA - The Manager of PigTrace Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Pork Council, reports some pork industry stakeholders have expressed concern that complying with proposed changes to Canada's Health of Animals Regulation, will force them to hire new staff or change their business practices.

To accommodate swine traceability the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proposing a number of changes to Canada's Health of Animals Regulations.

The public comment period on the proposed changes ended this past Monday and CFIA will now review the comments before deciding whether additional amendments might be needed.

Jeff Clark, the manager of PigTrace Canada, says, while there was a lot of support expressed for the program and the regulation in general, some members of the value chain expressed concern that complying with certain requirements would require them to hire additional staff or alter their business practices in some way.

Jeff Clark-Canadian Pork Council:

The changes will apply to anyone who handles or raises a pig so whether it's a farm facility, assembly yard, abattoir, a fairgrounds, anywhere where a pig or a pig carcass may be delivered.

We've tried to design the program so existing business practices would be recognized under the regulation. One of the key changes would be we're asking for information to be reported to a centralized data repository and that's through PigTrace Canada and the timeliness of that would be 48 hours.

That would be the big change is that information now is being collected centrally in Canada and the timeline to report that is 48 hours so that's quite a significant change.

Clark acknowledges there is some sensitivity with regards to timelines and from right across the industry there has been encouragement to give the program time to mature and grow under a voluntary environment, which he expects to happen.

He expects the amended regulation to be published formally at a later date but, at this point, he says he has no idea when that might happen.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.