How does the program work?
Liability and Responsibility
Frequently Asked Questions
Brochures and Forms Download Section
Members of the CSIP Committee
CSIP is governed by the federal Health of Animals Act and the
Health of Animals Regulations.
The Health of Animals Regulations have been amended to allow
for the national identification of sheep. The amendment was published
in Part II of the Canada Gazette on December 31, 2003 and came into force
on January 1, 2004.
The approved regulatory amendment is available at:
Food Inspection Agency Enforcement Information
Will The Program Be Enforced?
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the enforcement
of the Canadian Sheep Identification Program, in accordance with its responsibilities
under the Health of Animals Act and Regulations. The compliance
and enforcement strategy will comprise a combination of education, information
and enforcement actions. The objective of the strategy is full compliance.
Where non-compliance exists, the CFIA has the authority to issue administrative
monetary penalties. The monetary penalty for the majority of ID violations
is $500 per violation, or $250 if paid within 15 days.
Prosecution is also an enforcement option. The CFIA reserves the right
for example, in cases involving significant risk to the health
and safety of sheep or the public, or in cases of flagrant non-compliance
to proceed with a prosecution under the Health of Animals
CFIA inspectors routinely inspect production and marketing sites for disease
control, humane transport and trade certification purposes. These inspections
provide a parallel opportunity for monitoring ID compliance.
Enforcement and Producers
Producers are required to apply an approved national ID ear tag to all
lambs born on their premises before they leave the farm, and to ensure
that all ovine animals bear an approved tag before they leave the premises.
Producers are also required to keep a record of all sheep or lambs entering
their flock for breeding purposes, and of all sheep 18 months or older
leaving their farm unless being transported directly to a federally or
provincially registered abattoir for immediate slaughter.
Enforcement and Truckers
There are no exemptions for the transportation of unidentified ovine animals.
It is illegal to transport an unidentified ovine animal.
Enforcement and Auctions
There is no exemption for the reception of an unidentified ovine animal
unless the animal lost its approved tag during transit. Auction operators
must maintain records and make them available, if requested, to a CFIA
inspector. Inspectors will visit auction markets to meet with producers
and truckers, and to assess the programs degree of compliance.
Enforcement and Abattoirs
Abattoir operators can not receive unidentified ovine animals unless the
approved ID tag was lost during transit. Operators must also maintain
the identification of the carcass until the completion of the meat inspection
process. The CFIA provides continual meat inspection services at all federally
registered abattoirs, and on a contractual basis at federal-domestic abattoirs
in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The regular presence of
CFIA inspectors will permit enforcement of the ID program at those sites.
The same requirements will apply at provincially inspected abattoirs.
The CFIA may periodically visit provincially inspected and uninspected
abattoirs to monitor compliance.
The Role Of The Marketplace
Experience tells us that public attitude has a significant influence on
compliance with program requirements. The CFIA and the Canadian Sheep
Federation expect that an industry attitude will develop during the maturation
of the program, which encourages producers to tag all ovine animals leaving
their herds of origin. The CFIA also expects that transporters, order
buyers and feedlot operators will help to ensure that the animals they
handle are properly identified. Strong support from abattoir management,
accompanied by enforcement of the regulatory requirements by CFIA inspectors,
will send a strong message of program compliance back through market channels
to the producer level.
Enforcement Is Everyones Responsibility
The Canadian Sheep Identification Program represents a considerable advance
that will markedly improve the CFIAs capacity in continuing its
mandate of food safety, consumer protection and animal health.
The programs integrity, however, depends directly on industrys
compliance with its regulatory requirements. This will be best served
by early demonstration of that compliance.
For Further Information
Contact the nearest office of the CFIA, listed under Government of Canada
in the blue pages of your telephone directory.
You can also visit our Web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.
Record Keeping Requirements
The legislation requires producers to record
the movement of breeding animals. Records must be kept for all breeding
stock entering the farm and; all sheep and lambs 18 months or older leaving
the farm to a destination other than a provincially or federally inspected
abattoir. These records will be used by CFIA to trace the origin of any
disease or animal health concern that occurs.
A Record of Movement Form has been designed to help producers meet these
requirements. Download the Form
NOTICE TO SHEEP PRODUCERS
Dear Sheep Producers,
As you are aware, a mandatory system for the identification of the Canadian
national sheep flock began on January 1, 2004. The Canadian Sheep Identification
Program (CSIP) was developed by the sheep industry to address consumer
issues around food safety and quality assurance and to provide a traceback
system for disease control in the livestock sector.
From the outset, industry leaders in charge of developing the program,
set as a goal, a system that is simple, effective and affordable for lamb
producers. Part of that process was selecting a tag that is affordable
for producers and allows adequate opportunity to trace animals back to
the farm of origin if necessary. To reduce the cost of administration
fees, the plan was developed to require producers to keep on-farm records
of the sale and receipt of all breeding and cull animals. This requirement
replaces the need to read and retire identification numbers of slaughtered
sheep and lambs from the database.
During the period of time allowed for public comment on the regulations
which came into effect on January 1, 2004, there were comments made by
parties unknown that the CSIP may be rendered less effective if sheep
producers do not keep accurate on-farm records as required by the legislation.
There is the suggestion that the CSIP should be altered to require the
retirement of tag numbers for sheep and lambs that have been slaughtered.
This change would significantly increase the administrative fees charged
to the producer.
It is therefore extremely important that producers follow
the guidelines of the program and maintain on-farm records.
Forms have been designed to help record the entry of all breeding stock
onto the farm and the exit of all cull sheep over 18 months of age that
leave the farm. By doing so, producers will insure that they will not
face an expensive monetary penalty from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
(CFIA) for failure to comply with the regulations. Also, this will insure
that they and their fellow lamb producers do not have to pay heavy increases
in administrative fees to read and retire identification numbers from
It is anticipated that as the program evolves, there will be electronic
tagging options that are affordable and that will allow for a completely
traceable system without the need to maintain paper on-farm records. But,
for the moment, please do your part and maintain accurate on-farm
The Canadian Sheep Federation Board of Directors