Animal Health And Traceability Initiatives In Ontario
If introduced and passed, Ontario's proposal for legislation would complement the numerous programs and initiatives already in place supporting animal health, including:
- Funding for the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph to support testing for diseases that affect farm animals and public health.
- Memoranda of Understanding with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help manage animal health emergencies and mitigate impacts.
- Partnerships with the federal government under the Growing Forward initiative to help prevent farm-level risks associated with animal disease.
- Funding for the Veterinary Clinical Education program at the University of Guelph.
Traceability is the ability to track and follow food, feed, food-producing animals or substances and their associated history through all stages of production and distribution. A comprehensive field-to-fork traceability system can improve the ability to react more quickly and control risks during emergencies such as animal disease outbreaks and food safety recalls. Comprehensive traceability is also rapidly becoming a requirement of domestic and international markets. By investing in traceability, Ontario's agri-food industry will be more competitive and sustainable.
Ontario is advancing agri-food traceability through:
- The recently announced Food Safety and Traceability Initiative (FSTI), which provides cost-share funding to individual facilities to help enhance and document traceability systems and food safety programs. This four-year, $25.5-million federal-provincial program will enable Ontario's farmers and food processors to continue to put in place the building blocks for a comprehensive traceability system.
- Support to OnTrace, a not-for-profit industry-led corporation mandated to lead agri-food traceability initiatives in the province. OnTrace has developed the Ontario Agricultural Premises Registry (OAPR), a system to uniquely identify agri-food premises in Ontario that can be used by industry (to verify product origins and support movement tracking from farm to field) and by government (for emergency management).
- Plans for a forum this fall to continue discussions with agri-food industry stakeholders on moving forward together more aggressively on voluntary traceability initiatives.