National Identification and Traceability System for Canadian Hogs

For many years, the Canadian hog industry has enjoyed an excellent herd health status. However, because we now live in a global village, with animals traded internationally in unprecedented quantities, and more people than ever travelling abroad, animal health and foreign animal disease preparedness are key priorities for our industry.

In July 2002, the Canadian Pork Council received a mandate from its members to coordinate the development of a national traceability system for pigs, from birth to slaughter.

CPC and its members are now in the process of developing an identification and traceability system for the hog sector that will allow the industry to provide information on all Canadian swine premises, and trace back and forward all live hog movements on a real-time basis, boosting our preparedness in the case of an animal disease outbreak.

What is Traceability?

Traceability is the ability to trace the history, application, or location of an item or activity by means of recorded identification.

There are three components, or “pillars”, of traceability:

  • Identification of farms
  • Identification of animals
  • Tracking movement of animals

The proposed swine traceability system will allow for tracking the back and forth movements of live hogs.

Current Canadian Hog Industry Efforts

Following a pilot study designed to research and help the industry make decisions about how its ID and traceability system should function, the Canadian Pork Council and its members began working on several initiatives that would enable the full implementation of a national system for hogs.

They include the identification and registration of all premises with hogs in Canada, a national tattoo number standardization strategy, the development of a swine slaughter database, and an ID and traceability movement reporting system.

In the summer of 2009, the Swine Traceabilty initiative was given the name PigTrace Canada.

For more information on the National Hog Identification and Traceability System, please visit:

To speak to someone regarding the National Hog Identification and Traceability System initiative, please contact PigTrace Canada / PorcTracé Canada, Telephone: 1-866-300-1825

Other links you may find helpful include:

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