Traceability is the ability to follow an item or group of items – animals, plants, food products or ingredients – from one point in the supply chain to another. Tags, tattoos, brands and logbooks are all elements of traceability that have been used for years by both industry and government. Traceability systems are based on three basic elements: animal/product identification; premises identification; and animal/product movement.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments, in partnership with industry, have made the development of a full traceability system a priority in Canada. Phasing-in a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System (NAFTS), initially focusing on livestock and poultry, is the main goal. Through continuing hard work and collaboration, it is well within reach.

Traceability systems in Canada are based on three basic elements: animal identification, animal movement and premises identification. The ability to rapidly trace an animal throughout its life cycle is essential to isolating animal health emergencies and can help limit the economic, trade, environmental and social impacts of such emergencies.

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