Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 International Livestock Identification Association Conference

Calgary hosted the annual International Livestock Identification Association (ILIA) conference this past week. I had the opportunity to represent the Canadian Angus Association along with Doug Fee. We, along with participants from Australia, Canada, the United States and Mexico discussed topics around the theme of livestock traceability in North America. Over the two days at Spruce Meadows, focus was specifically on animal health, the economics of traceability, how consumer demand affects traceability and the deployment of such systems. The conference concluded Wednesday with a tour of Western Feedlots and the Highwood Auction Market in High River.

Canada was recognized repeatedly as a world leader during these discussions along with Australia, Brazil, Uruguay and New Zealand. Consumer trust was also repeatedly discussed as it is vital to maintain and grow domestic meat markets. Traceability is a method by which this can be achieved. It also allows for a quick and easy investigation when an animal health concern which threatens our export markets arises. By developing these systems the opportunities for market re-entry after a closure are enhanced as we can prove the safety of our product.

All in all an educational and informative few days. I encourage all producers to continue age verifying their animals and invest some time to learn what CCIA and the governments are doing to assist and move Canadian traceability forward.

Posted by Cheryl Hazenberg