The ability to identify and track animals as they are moved through the production system is one of the pillars of traceability.
The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is an industry-led initiative that works to ensure the animal identification component of traceability in Canada's sheep industry is affordable, flexible, effective, and meets legal requirements.
Under CSIP, all sheep and lambs moved off their farm of origin must be tagged with an approved, uniquely numbered ear tag. The CSIP numbers of all tags sold are recorded and linked in a database to the contact information of the purchasers. In Alberta, this database is maintained by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. The database is only accessed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in the event a trace-back of animals or meat products is required (read more). For an overview of producer responsibilities under CSIP, download Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements for Sheep Under the Canadian Livestock Identification and Traceability Program.
CSIP is a mandatory program that follows Canada's livestock identification regulations. These requirements are stipulated in the Health of Animal Act and associated Health of Animals Regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for enforcing these regulations. Non-compliance could result in fines of up to $10,000.
For full details of the requirements, please read the following CFIA documents regarding livestock identification requirements (click to download the pdf documents):
- Requirements for Livestock Producers
- Requirements for Intermediate Sites: auction mart, fair, assembly yard, etc.
- Requirements for Livestock Carriers
- Requirements for Exporters and Importers of Live Animals
- Requirements for Operators of Abattoirs, Rendering Plants, Dead Stock Collection Centres and Post-Mortem Laboratories
All approved CSIP tags are radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled and bear the official CSIP logo. Shipping animals without an approved tag is illegal. Read ALP's CSIP fact sheet.
YELLOW Shearwell Radio Frequency Identification tag
YELLOW Shearwell RFID Paired (Double) tag* –
YELLOW Allflex Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) button
YELLOW Allflex Paired (Combo) RFID and dangle*
PINK Ketchum Kurl Lock #3
PINK Plastic Allflex dangle tag
“the RIGHT TAG … the RIGHT APPLICATOR … the RIGHT EAR”
All CSIP RFID tags are YELLOW!
*Canadian Sheep Breeders Association members may use a double tagging system with two tags approved and bearing the official identification number under the Canadian Sheep Identification Program as an alternative for tattooing registered sheep
*The province of Quebec requires each sheep or lamb to bear a paired CSIP tag, please contact the Fédération des Producteurs d'Agneaux et Moutons du Québec