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General Information Documents - Click to View

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency Bylaws (pdf)
NEW Tag Related Complaint Form (pdf)
Calving Record Book (pdf)
CCIA Tag Remittance Fee Increase (pdf)
Dealers Reference Manual (pdf)
RFID Tag Brochure (pdf)


The agency is led by a Board of Directors made up of representatives from all sectors of the cattle industry:

Alberta Beef Producers
Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association
Beef Farmers of Ontario
British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association
Canadian Bison Association
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Canadian Livestock Dealer’s Association
Canadian Meat Council
Canadian Sheep Federation
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Dairy Farmers of Canada
Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec / Quebec Cattle Producers’ Federation
Livestock Markets Association of Canada
Manitoba Beef Producers
Maritime Beef Council
Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agri-Food Canada are ex officio members.

How does it work?

An approved CCIA radio frequency identification (RFID) tag is applied to ear prior to leaving the farm of origin.
All tags are visually and electronically imbedded with a unique identification number that is allocated from the national database and then distributed to producers through authorized tag dealers.
The national tag distribution network securely reports all tag issuance records directly to the national database.
The unique number of each individual animal is maintained to the point of export of carcass inspection where the animal is either approved for consumption or condemned.

When Did It Start?

The Program began January 1, 2001 in which all cattle must  be tagged with an approved CCIA ear tag upon leaving their farm of origin. Full enforcement of the program by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with monetary penalties, began on July 1, 2002.

On July 1, 2001 all packing plants began reading all tags, transferring the information to the carcass and maintaining that identity to the point of carcass inspection. This includes provincially inspected plants and non-inspected plants.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces the Canadian Cattle Identification Program with penalties for non-compliance beginning at $500 and going as high as $4,000. Early payment can reduce the fines by as much as 50%. The need for assessing penalties will be minimal as all industry sectors will be aware of the requirements and will be expecting compliance from their suppliers.

What are reportable diseases and conditions?

Reportable diseases are typically those which Canada and some 150 other countries have agreed to control or eliminate to safeguard human health and maintain access to the international marketplace. Currently, the CFIA carries out approximately 2,000 trace backs per year in its investigation of reportable diseases and other conditions. The CCIA identification system increases the efficiency of a trace back by 90% and helps ensure the rapid containment and elimination of potentially devastating reportable diseases and major food safety defects, as well as any unforeseen new problems that may arise.

Reportable Diseases

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Pseudorabies
Vesicular Stomatitis Rabies
Rinderpest Anaplasmosis
Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs Disease)
Lumpy Skin Disease Bovine Tuberculosis
Rift Valley Fever Cysticercosis
Bluetongue Mange
Anthrax Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

Residue monitoring of beef cattle turns up virtually no infractions, but remains a vital tool for ensuring the safety of the Canadian food supply. In most cases major residue problems are resolved by tracing back from the location where the problem is identified to the most recent owner. The CCIA identification system  also assista this search.

Getting Tags and Complying With The Program

Several manufacturers are approved suppliers of tags for the Program. Their distributors are located across Canada and are the same locations where producers currently purchase farm supplies.

When purchasing tags, producers are required to provide their name, telephone number, address and postal code. The producer is assigned a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which he or she will have the option of using to speed up tag purchases. No other information is recorded.

CCIA controls access to the information stored in the CCIA database. CCIA will provide information to CFIA at CFIA’s request in the event of a health or safety concern. Any other request for access, including government departments other than CFIA, is made through a legal process with the petitioner requiring to justify the need for access.

Animals that lose tags in transit are to be re-tagged at the next point of arrival. Beyond the farm of origin new owners are expected to keep a record of the re-tagged animal’s tag number and any information available about its origin in the event of a later trace back.

Imports and Exports

Updated Information as of July 18, 2005.

Liability and Responsibility

The CFIA traces from the first location of the animal (herd of origin) and last location of the animal (usually the packing plant) to find the true source of the problem. The CFIA will rely on scientific information and tests to confirm infection and toxin sources.

The system traces to the point of carcass inspection. Most contamination food safety problems are discovered after that point and are recognized to be beyond the control of primary producers.


Regulations pertaining to the Canadian Cattle Identification Program are contained within the Federal Health of Animals Act and Regulations. Copies of the pertinent regulations are available by clicking here..


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Canadian Cattle Identification Agency 2009