Meat Safety and Traceability

Many animal producers support the establishment of a nationwide identification (ID) system capable of quickly tracking animals from birth to slaughter. While they believe such a system is needed to better deal with animal diseases or meet foreign market specifications, some consumer groups and others believe it would also be useful for food safety or retail informational purposes — and that the program should be able to trace meat products through processing and consumption.

However, despite years of effort on at least an animal ID program for disease purposes, many contentious issues remain unresolved. For example, should it be mandatory or voluntary? What types of information should be collected, on what animal species, and who should hold it, government or private entities? How much will it cost, and who should pay?

Animal ID refers to the marking of individual farm animals, or a group or lot of animals so that they can be tracked from place of birth to slaughter. Although, many producers already know, and keep records on, the identities of each animal, animal ID helps to track, identify and eradicate animals that might have already been infected.

The animal ID is one component of meat traceability. Traceability is the more comprehensive concept of tracking the movement of identifiable products through the marketing chain. An extensive form of meat traceability is the ability to follow products forward from their source animal (i.e., birth or ancestry), through growth and feeding, slaughter, processing, and distribution, to the point of sale or consumption
Traceability can be used to convey information about a product, such as what it contains, how it was produced, and every place it has been. (Source - nationalaglawcenter.org)

Why should I make sure my livestock are traceable?
All livestock need to be fully traceable to allow a fast and efficient response to disease outbreaks or food safety incidents along the supply chain, including on and off-farm. It enables the tracing and identification of livestock in order to minimize the potential impact of a disease outbreak or residue incident on people and animals. It also provides a competitive advantage in the global market.

How do I guarantee that my livestock is traceable?
Livestock bought and sold at Livestock247.com are moved along the supply chain with a unique animal ID. Using this information, we are able to provide a life history of an animal's residency and to detect which other livestock it may have come into contact with. We also use this to provide you with livestock that are fit for slaughter – mitigating against the spread of zoonotic diseases. For remote gifting of livestock, we use the unique animal ID to assure our buyers that we deliver the exact livestock purchased on our platform for friends, family members and/or well-wishers.

Is it necessary for every animal to be fully traceable?
For public health, it is imperative that all livestock be traceable. If any issues arise along the supply chain such as a disease outbreak or a food safety incident, all livestock need to be fully traceable to allow a fast and efficient response. This will minimize the potential impact of a disease outbreak or residue incident on people and animals. It also provides a competitive advantage in a global market

Reasons for Animal Identification and Meat Traceability
Commercial Production and Marketing Functions –
Animal producers and food suppliers already have at least some capacity for tracing products. Many farmers and ranchers keep track of individual animals and how they are being raised. Traceability can help them to identify and exploit desirable production characteristics, such as animals that can grow more rapidly on less feed or that yield a better cut of meat.

Traceability helps to coordinate shipments, manage inventories, and monitor consumer behavior. Some consumers prefer meat (or milk) from animals raised according to specified organic, humane treatment, or environmental standards. Traceability can help firms to separate, and keep records on, these unique products to verify production methods

Animal Health -
Animal ID can help to track down more quickly the source of diseases in order to determine their origin and cause, eradicate them, and prevent their spread. In the growing global marketplace, surveillance and containment, aided by a traceability system, foreign buyers and veterinary doctors can be assured that there will not be any spread of diseases

Food Safety -
Livestock and Veterinary Services departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are responsible for protecting the public against unsafe meat and illness that can be passed across from animals to humans and that’s at livestock247 we take the issue of traceability serious.