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Canadian Sheep Federation

PROGRAMS   ››  Canadian Sheep Identification   ››  CSIP

Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP)

About CSIP

The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is a mandatory, industry-led initiative to develop a traceback system that will lead to a full-scale traceability system and the capacity to address producer concerns about sheep health, provide valuable management feedback to producers, and meet consumer expectations for quality assurance and food safety.

In June 2010, the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) approved a motion to move the sheep industry towards mandatory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. In addition to supporting a national identification program, RFID technology provides new management tools that offer many benefits to sheep producers.

CSF, in collaboration with industry, continues to work to ensure that RFID technology systems and electronic tools work for the entire industry. For instance, tools and systems that are practical and easy to use, and that ensure traceability requirements can be met on-farm and throughout the value chain.

CSIP Background

CSIP became mandatory on January 1, 2004. Click here to dowload the CSIP timeline, which describes how the program evolved.
CSIP Moving Forward

The Canadian Sheep Federation is committed to ensuring the CSIP evolves with the changing needs of producers, the industry and global market demands. Click here to download information about how CSIP is moving forward with a focus on being “affordable, flexible and effective.”

Program Requirements

Under the current CSIP, producer and stakeholder responsibilities include:
  • All sheep and lambs must bear an approved CSIP ear tag before they leave their farm of origin. This includes animals leaving the premises temporarily (e.g. exhibitions, veterinarian clinics, community pastures). It is illegal to transport animals not bearing an approved tag. 

  • CSIP tags must be purchased from an approved distributor

  • Sheep producers and feedlot operators are required to keep a record of:
    • All sheep or lambs entering your flock for breeding purposes
    • All sheep 18 months or older leaving your farm, other than those sold directly to a federally or provincially inspected abattoir

  • Imported sheep must have an approved CSIP tag applied either before importation or within 7 days of the sheep reaching its initial destination.

  • All sheep purchased must bear an approved CSIP ear tag. If a tag is subsequently lost, you must immediately apply a new CSIP ear tag; report the new identification number and, if known, the former identification number; and record information about the origin of the sheep as is known.

  • Approved CSIP ear tags must not be removed from any live sheep or tampered with for any reason and must not be re-used. If a sheep dies on your property, the tag may be removed. The identification numbers of the approved tags borne by the sheep carcasses disposed of by the operator must be reported within 30 days after disposing of the carcass. There are no record-keeping or reporting requirement for the on-farm disposal of carcasses not bearing an approved tag.

  • Auction marts, livestock dealers and packing plants are required to accept only sheep and lambs bearing an approved CSIP ear tag.
For complete information on the regulations, please see Part XV - Animal Identification - of the Health of Animals regulation.

CSIP Working Group

The CSIP Working Group advises the CSF Board of Directors on the development and implementation of the CSIP, RFID technology and traceability for the sheep industry. This includes evaluation, approval, testing of tags, taggers, software and any equipment related to use of RFID technology for producers, as well as any other items involving the CSIP. Members currently include:
  • Eric Aubin, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Fred Baker, sheep producer
  • Margaret Cook, Alberta Lamb Producers
  • John Cuthbert, Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers
  • Dennis Fischer, Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency
  • Susan Hosford, Government of Alberta
  • Jennifer MacTavish, Canadian Sheep Federation
  • Jamie Miller, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Gord Schroeder, Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board
  • Stacey White, Canadian Sheep Breeders' Association