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Swine Movement Reporting to Move Beyond Just Traceability

29 May 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - The Manager of PigTrace Canada says efforts are underway to increase the value of swine movement data available to pork producers who have access to it, Bruce Cochrane writes.

As part of Canada's swine traceability system both the shipper and receiver of swine are requirement to report animal movements within seven days to PigTrace Canada.

Jeff Clark, the Manager of PigTrace Canada, an initiative of the Canadian Pork Council, says the primary goal of swine traceability is to have a ready dataset that can be used to trace back animal health emergencies or food safety issues but the information gathered through the system can also be made use of in other ways.

Jeff Clark-Canadian Pork Council

The intelligence gathering just in terms of what the industry does and even small scale farmers, there's many of them out there, we have over four thousand registered, so really just to represent pig production in Canada and to really learn what types of practices are happening and hopefully develop other programmes that go beyond traceability that can really be of benefit for producers.

We're going to start building more features into PigTrace that go beyond traceability, so other farm records and trying to make it of benefit for our producers that would access the system and give them other features in there that might be of use for their practice.

Looking at the market information, market flows, we have large farms, small farm all participating in PigTrace so it really gives us a good sense of what's happening out there.

We have long distance movements from Saskatchewan to Quebec for example.

It just gives us an idea of what other things are happening and how maybe the industry can prepare and maybe improve its practices.

Mr Clark suggests information gathered through swine movement reporting could also be used to assess how pigs move throughout Canada to better understand transportation times and distances and what regions are transporting from where to where.

He says a lot of that information wasn't known before.