Changes to Animal Health Legislation
Alberta’s Chief Provincial Veterinarian would like to again remind producers about changes to the Animal Health Act and regulations, which came into effect on June 30, 2014.
Alberta’s animal health legislation was updated to ensure it continues to meet the evolving needs of producers and the agriculture industry, and to make sure the legislation continues to effectively protect animal and public health. For example, some of the changes clarify policies and requirements, recognize modern practices, or allow for more flexibility and options for the livestock industry.
Ideas and information provided by Alberta’s agriculture industry were instrumental in building and updating the legislation – making it stronger and more valuable, and recognizing the cutting-edge industry that exists today.
What do the changes mean for goat producers?
There were several changes to the Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation. For example, there’s now more flexibility for the storage and disposal of dead animals, because the regulation was changed to be more outcome-based (rather than prescriptive). Changes clarified that only animal owners (or people in care and control) who have possession of their animals when they die may use on-farm disposal methods on their own land. New provisions have also been added for on-farm burial of animals less than 100 kg.
Producers should also know that your Premises Identification (PID) Number is required and will be recorded as part or regular business transactions, both when purchasing animal medicines and as part of transactions involving livestock at auction markets. These are new requirements in the Authorized Medicine Sales Regulation (formerly the Production Animal Medicine Regulation) and the Livestock Market Regulation. In the coming months, Agriculture and Forestry will work with livestock markets to implement this new Livestock Market Regulation requirement.
Since 2009, the Premises Identification Regulation has required livestock owners to apply for a PID Account. Premises identification, together with animal identification and animal movement, are the foundations of effective traceability – which is important to protect animal and public health. Knowing where animals could be located is crucial to emergency planning, preparedness and response, so that if an animal health issue or emergency were to occur, it could be managed quickly. For more information, forms and online registration, visit www.agriculture.alberta.ca/premises.
Quick reference guides outlining the main changes in the regulations, as well as links to the Animal Health Act and regulations, can be found on the Agriculture and Forestry website at www.agriculture.alberta.ca/animalhealthact.
For more information, you can also contact the Ag Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).