Traceability Event Reporting from a Dairy Farmers Perspective

holstein cow in barn

The DairyTrace web portal and mobile app offers easy options when reporting livestock traceability events. Functionalities to report will depend upon each user’s role, which is determined at account set up. Simply put, a dairy farmer will have different requirements, such as reporting a tag activation/birth, than an operator of a rendering plant who would report ear tag retirements.   

All traceability reporting and recording is based on three pillars:

  1. Premises Identification (PID)
    PID allows a traceability program to connect animals and their movements to specific locations. This is key information when addressing an animal health emergency.  A premises is a geographical location where farm animals are kept, assembled, or disposed of, within the boundaries of the province or territory.
  2. Animal Identification (ID)
    Animal ID allows for the tracking of animals to specific land locations (or “premises”) and is critical for controlling animal diseases and managing animal health emergencies. Ear tags, also referred to as animal ID, along with PID makes it possible to trace animal movement from one point to another throughout the supply chain.
  3. Animal Movement
    Animal movement is the last of the three pillars of livestock traceability. In case of an animal health emergency, movement reporting allows a traceability program to identify exactly where the animal has been, with which other animals it has been in contact with and where the animal is now. This is critical information for the planning and management of emergencies. Explained below are the DairyTrace program event reporting details, connecting the three pillars of traceability for a dairy farmer, as seen in the portal:    

Tag Activation / Birth: Select from your ear tag inventory, a unique animal ID (RFID tag) that has been applied to the animal’s ear. Enter the animals date of birth along with a PID of where this tag was applied. This will activate the tag and is the first step required in DairyTrace before any traceability events can be reported.

In case of lost tags, you have three options:

Tag Reissued:  When an animal has lost or damaged one of the two tags, or was improperly tagged, tags must be reissued. The animal’s unique ID will be known due to double-tagging and/or a registration photo and you want to replace the lost tag with a new one with same number. After ordering the reissued tag, it will show in your DairyTrace account under ‘available tags’. The replacement tag(s) should be applied as soon as received to ensure uninterrupted individual animal identification.  

Cross Reference (previous tag # known): If you know the animal ID, but due to circumstances, cannot wait for a reissued tag, you must re-identify the animal with a new unique tag. Both the old and new number would be reported as a ‘Cross Reference’ in DairyTrace. Cross reference can also be used when the dairy animal has lost its US tag and can’t be replaced by the same ID number.

Replacement (previous tag # not known): This event reporting occurs when you do not know the animals current or previous ID number. In this scenario, a new set of tags with a new unique ID number would be issued.

Move-in: An animal move-in refers to any activity when an animal is taken from where it is kept (PID of departure) and brought to another location (PID of arrival/destination). An animal moving into your PID is an animal move-in, even if it’s for a short period of time. Intra-farm movement (movement of an animal between different sites under the same management) must be recorded if the animals are transported across a provincial or territorial border.

Import: An import occurs when an animal or group of animals from outside of Canada arrive at your PID. Their previous histories (birth date and movements outside of Canada) may not be known, but now all movement starting from the arrival at your facility must be recorded and reported.

Move-out: An animal move-out event refers to any activity when an animal is taken from where it resides (PID of departure) and brought to another location (PID of destination). Any animal moving off your PID is an animal move-out. This would include a carcass that leaves your PID for deadstock pick-up. Move-out reporting is optional, however it’s always good practice as reporting it will keep your herd inventory and additional DairyTrace reports up to date.   

On-farm disposal / Tag Retirement: On-farm disposal/tag retirement reporting confirms that an animal bearing the unique ID number has died on your PID. If the animal is not disposed of on your PID, (i.e. went to a rendering plant and/or deadstock collection centre) this is considered a move-out event. There are options in DairyTrace to add additional information to the tag retirement, such as buried, composted, for personal usage, and predation. Reporting on-farm disposal confirms the animal is no longer active in the national traceability database.

Export: There are national requirements for exporting cattle from Canada. In DairyTrace, an export event is considered a tag retirement, as it confirms the animal bearing the unique ID (RFID tag) is exported. In other words, the animal is no longer active in the Canadian national traceability database, as it has left the country.  

For further assistance on reporting to DairyTrace, see our Portal Quick Tips.

Traceability App on devices

Quick and Easy Tutorials

We’ve got quick 1-2-minute easy step-by-step video tutorials to help you navigate through the DairyTrace portal. Learn about tagging, animal movement and more!

> Visit Our Video Library