The Canadian Sheep Identification Program

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):

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. 

Did you know unused tags can be re-sold to other producers by officially transferring the tag numbers through CCIA?  Download the tag transfer form and contact the CCIA for more information.

YELLOW Shearwell Radio Frequency Identification tag


YELLOW Shearwell RFID Paired (Double) tag* –
one RFID tag, one non-RFID tag with the same CSIP number
Both tags are applied to one animal.
(Note: Shearwell is transitioning from yellow non-RFID
tags to black tags in 2018. Either coloured tag is
acceptable during the transition.)

tag shearwell paired         xs pair 2461 transparent

YELLOW Allflex Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) button


YELLOW Allflex Paired (Combo) RFID and dangle*
one RFID button, one dangle tag with the same CSIP number

tag allflex paired 2tag allflex paired 1

PINK Ketchum Kurl Lock #3
No longer available for purchase.
No longer accepted as a CSIP tags -
It is illegal to ship animals using only this tag.


PINK Plastic Allflex dangle tag
No longer available for purchase.
No longer accepted as a CSIP tag -
 It is illegal to ship animals using only this tag.



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