Ministry of Agriculture sets new regulations for livestock premises identification

            Saskatchewan producers will now be required to take part in a program to prevent the spread of animal diseases.

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            The Government of Saskatchewan announced changes to Saskatchewan’s Premises Identification (PID) program on January 12. PID is a key traceability tool to plan for, control and prevent the spread of animal diseases and to respond to other emergencies, said a release from the Ministry of Agriculture.

            Participation in the PID program is now mandatory for all Saskatchewan producers. Over the coming months, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture livestock programs will request that all applicants have a PID number to participate.

            “The federal government proudly supports a healthy, sustainable and robust agriculture industry,” said Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “These new requirements will help Saskatchewan producers protect the health of their livestock, as well as their farm businesses.”

            “As one of the three pillars of traceability, Premises Identification is an important part of ensuring the health and safety of our province’s livestock,” said Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan minister of agriculture. “With a full PID database, we’ll be in a better position to prevent or respond to an animal disease outbreak or natural disaster.”

            The voluntary PID program was launched in June 2014 and currently has fewer than 3,000 livestock and poultry producers, veterinarians, feedlots, and other livestock commingling sites enrolled.  Requiring a PID number for program eligibility will help the province reach full PID participation and make an effective disease control program.  Manitoba and Alberta have similar regulations that mandate enrollment in PID programs.

            “I want to make sure I’m in the best position possible to protect my cattle if a disease outbreak happens,” said Rick Toney, vice-chair of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.  “That’s why registering for a PID number just made sense; it was an easy way to make sure my cattle would be safe in an emergency.”

            The PID database will be used to plan and implement emergency responses in the case of an animal health concern, a public health emergency, or an emergency such as a natural disaster that affects animals and people. Information on registrants is private and only to be used in emergencies.

            The Saskatchewan PID database is funded through Growing Forward 2, which is a cost-shared partnership between federal, provincial and territorial governments used to support an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

            Producers who wish to find more information on PID may visit www.saskatchewan.ca and search “Premises Identification.” Registration can be completed online.