Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 17, 2006 16:56 ET

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Extends Canadian Radio Frequency Identification Reader Program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 17, 2006) - The extension of the Canadian Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Reader Program as well as modifications to the program were announced today by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board Chuck Strahl.

"The overall goal of the program is to ensure that the cattle industry has the equipment it needs in order for this national system to work," said Minister Strahl. "This initiative is an important part of the BSE tracing and tracking strategy."

The Canadian RFID Reader Program aims to promote the use of RFID readers beyond the farm gate by providing financial assistance for the purchase of approved readers and other equipment. RFID readers facilitate the upload of information to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and to Agri-Tracabilite Quebec (ATQ).

CCIA and ATQ are mandated to maintain databases that track cattle movement in Canada. The Canadian RFID Reader Program has been extended until December 31, 2007.

For more information or to apply, potential applicants should contact Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at 1-800-667-8567 or visit www.agr.gc.ca/reader.

BACKGROUNDER

Canadian Radio Frequency Identification Reader Program

In June 2005, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) allocated $1.8 million to facilitate the upload of information to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-Tracabilite Quebec (ATQ) by providing an incentive to those beyond the farm gate in the cattle industry to purchase Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers.

The Canadian RFID Reader Program was scheduled to terminate March 31, 2006, but it is being extended to December 31, 2007. The Environment Program Coordination Directorate of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration coordinates the receipt of applications and makes payments to facility operators. At present, $800,000 is accessible to eligible applicants through the Canadian RFID Reader Program.

Participants in the Canadian RFID Reader Program are reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible RFID readers, up to a maximum of $1,000 for hand-held readers and $3,000 for panel readers. Eligible costs under the Canadian RFID Reader Program have been expanded to include costs related to reader installation and associated software and hardware. Other modifications to the program include expanding the list of eligible applicants from registered slaughter and processing plants, sales barns, stockyards and/or auction markets, veterinarians and veterinary schools and universities, private pathology labs, mobile butchers and dead stock operators to also include feedlots, truckers and community pastures. In addition, all applicants can purchase more than one RFID reader.

The Canadian RFID Reader Program aims to improve the tracking and tracing of cattle beyond the farm gate by promoting the use of RFID readers. The objective of the program is to ensure that the cattle industry has the necessary equipment to fully participate in Canada's cattle tracking and tracing system initiative.

The readers allow facility operators to receive and transmit RFID tag information to computer based equipment, which enables electronic transfer of information from facility operators to CCIA/ATQ.

Information on the tracking of beef and dairy cattle is managed in Quebec by ATQ and by CCIA in all other provinces. The CCIA is in the process of updating their existing system for cattle to a RFID tag system capable of recording livestock animal movements. These RFID tags are currently mandatory in Quebec.

Eligible participants now include:



- registered slaughter and processing plants;
- sales barns, stockyards and/or auction markets;
- veterinarians;
- veterinarian schools and universities;
- private pathology labs;
- mobile butchers;
- dead stock operators;
- feedlots;
- truckers;
- community pastures.


The Canadian RFID Reader Program is not being extended to individual producers because it is not necessary at this time to report animal movement between producers.

For more information or to apply, potential applicants should contact AAFC at 1 800-667-8567 or visit www.agr.gc.ca/reader.

For information specific to the RFID Reader Program:



- contact the CCIA at www.canadaid.com or at 1-877-909-2333, or;
- call 1-866-270-4319 for product information if you are an applicant
registered with ATQ.



Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 / toll free 1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Jeff Howard
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059