Farmers and ranchers will be required to identify the animals on their property by 2022, a move made by the provincial government to trace the whereabouts of livestock in times of rapidly spreading danger and disease.
The proposed changes were announced Friday.
New regulations under the B.C. Animal Health Act include “mandatory registration” to “effectively support industry in responding to both animal health and environmental emergencies,” said B.C.’s minister of agriculture, food and fisheries, Lana Popham.
BC Cattlemen’s Association manager Kevin Boon said, “We are at a time when moving to a mandatory Premises ID makes sense for more than just traceability.”
“The value of having Premises ID was proven for emergency management in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires with the biggest hurdle, at the time, being that producers were not yet signed up.”
During the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, the Premises Identification (ID) program was used to help around 189 ranchers access their animals in evacuation zones.
According to authorities, it saved the lives of hundreds of animals in the province.
The system will also inform producers whether livestock and poultry operations can operate during emergencies.
Currently, involvement in the Premises Identification (ID) program is voluntary and will continue to be throughout 2021 – with an estimated 64% of livestock producers actively registered, according to the government.
The program is available at no cost.
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