OTTAWA — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) went before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food last week to discuss the role of livestock transporters in Canada’s food supply chain.
First on the docket for the CTA was stressing the importance that all supply chain partners ensure that their chosen livestock transporters are properly trained.
“Livestock transport requires specialized skills and knowledge of both transport best practices and animal care,” said Deanna Pagnan, director of the Livestock Transporters’ Division.
The CTA re-iterated its message of accountability in livestock hauling. “A national, accountable and transparent training program that is demanded by all levels of the supply chain is necessary to ensure all transporters possess the knowledge and skills required to safely and securely transport animals across Canada.”
The other issue that the CTA raised was the need for a traceability initiative. Transporters should bear the responsibility for animal tagging, the CTA told the committee. Initial tagging is the responsibility of the owner of the animal or the facility, and the current practice of holding the transporter accountable for untagged livestock needs to be addressed.
“While CTA does not object to the prohibition to transport animals not bearing an approved tag, it is simply impractical to hold a transporter accountable for ensuring all animals are bearing these tags,” explained Pagnan. “Not only is it difficult to verify the presence of these ear tags visibly, animal pick ups often occur in the dark making it very difficult and in some cases impossible to see the tags. Transporters’ core responsibilities during pick ups involve safely loading and properly sorting animals for transport, not double-checking animals are tagged.”
CTA also suggested to the committee that CFIA take an educational approach to enforcement that is uniform across the country.
“Particularly when dealing with first-time offenders, an educational approach is more appropriate and effective than fines,” said Pagnan.
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