Introduction of financial penalties for non-compliance with the Health of Animals Regulations

August 23, 2016
RE: Introduction of financial penalties for non-compliance with the Health of Animals Regulations

On July 1, 2014, the Canadian Pork Council’s (CPC) national traceability program, PigTrace, became mandatory under the Government of Canada’s Health of Animals Regulations. Since then, 11,000 locations have been registered and Canadian pig producers have recorded over 1.2 million movement events. The successful implementation of PigTrace has meant not only an enhanced ability to respond to disease events, but also enabled the use of the program as a cornerstone of the Verified Canadian Pork brand.

To date, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) traceability enforcement has focused on education and, on rare occasions, issuing written notices (“letters of non-compliance”) to those not complying with the regulations. However, on August 2, 2016 the Government of Canada, through an amendment to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations, enabled the CFIA to apply financial penalties. The Agency’s inspection staff have access to this additional enforcement measure on August 24, 2016.

CFIA inspectors have the discretion to determine the necessary enforcement action for a given situation. In general, education and verbal notices will occur for a first offense. A repeat offense would result in a letter of non-compliance, and if there are enough repeat offenses, a financial penalty may be issued. CFIA may also seek prosecution in the most severe cases.
The financial penalty for non-compliance with most PigTrace requirements is expected to be classed as a “minor violation”, which can result in a $1,300 fine.

Past practice at the CFIA shows that it is quite rare to receive a financial penalty for animal identification and traceability programs, and that it is used as a last resort. For example, the total number of financial penalties issued in 2015 for non-compliance with animal identification related offenses for cattle, sheep, bison was 16.

For more information on the requirements of the PigTrace Canada program contact visit, call 1-866-300-1825, or contact your provincial pork organization.


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