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Canadian Quality Sheep and Lamb Program

Canadian Quality Sheep and Lamb is the Canadian sheep industry’s on-farm food safety program. The program is administered by the Canadian Sheep Federation and has been developed by a technical committee comprised of sheep producers, experts in sheep production and specialists in food safety from across the country.

The program addresses food safety issues that may arise during sheep and lamb production by outlining specific management practices and a record keeping system that will require producers to:

• Observe dosage, withdrawal times, and storage requirements for animal health products (e.g antibiotics, vaccines, chemical de-wormers, medicated feed);
• Provide employee training and promote systems of on-farm communication;
• Prevent exposure of sheep to potentially hazardous materials;
• Handle sheep properly during treatment to minimize needle breakage and muscle damage;
• Observe flock management practices, including biosecurity and proper animal care, to optimize disease prevention and animal health;

When the program is in place, a third party auditor will verify compliance with the requirements for certification in the program.

What are the Benefits of the Program?

• Enhanced consumer confidence in the safety, quality and consistency of sheep products;
• Enhanced detection and prevention of on-farm food safety concerns;
• Increased market share for Canadian sheep and lamb products, domestically and internationally;
• Increased market access due to expansion of market alliances within the agriculture and processing sectors;
• Enhanced opportunity for producers to meet buyer demands and for involvement in the marketing of a branded product or other accreditation processes;
• Improved understanding of flock management through systematic record keeping;
• Increased standardization of on-farm food safety to complement food safety programs beyond the farm gate;
• Heightened producer satisfaction from doing things right.
Where are we now?

Our program is in the final stages of development and will be reviewed by CFIA during summer, 2003. The Canadian Sheep Federation will be hiring a National Coordinator with funding from the COFFS program to help the Technical Committee deliver the program to producers across the country throughout the next year.


Sources: Canadian Quality Sheep and Lamb: the Canadian sheep industry’s on-farm food safety program, Producer Pilot projects, May – October 2002.
Kyle, Beth. Canadian Quality Sheep and Lamb: the Canadian sheep industry’s on-farm food safety program (www.ontariosheep.org).

 

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