As PigTrace Canada nears its 1 year anniversary as the country’s mandatory pig traceability program, the number of pig movements reported to its national database is closing in on half a million, averaging nearly 10,000 movement events per week. This represents nearly 60 million pigs reported as moved since July 1, 2014, when federal regulations took effect.
PigTrace has witnessed dramatic uptake by Canada’s pork industry, including large and small-scale production. More than 5,000 pig premises are consistently reporting movement events. This accounts for 63% of the total number of pig premises registered in PigTrace (8,200); however, the level of participation is likely higher than 63% because some of the registered premises are no longer in production.
The biggest surprise with the program so far has been the involvement of small-scale hobby producers, previously unknown to Canada’s provincial pork organizations. Nationally, at least 750 of small-scale producers are newly registered, and this number continues to grow. As a value added attribute for their customers, some producers have used PigTrace to track cuts of meat right back to specific pigs and the farms where they were raise.
The program continues to adapt and respond to the needs of the pork industry and pig farmers. Technical improvements to the PigTrace reporting system (i.e., database) are constantly being considered and developed in an effort to make the reporting experience is simple and trouble free as possible.
PigTrace Mobile, which is accessible through pigtrace.ca from virtually every hand-held device tested, has been a very popular reporting tool. Producers can login to their account from their mobile phone to report the required information. Once the information is entered into PigTrace, the system generates a movement document that can be used for shipping and settlement or inventory purposes. The document can be printed or sent by e-mailed or text messaging to any business partners that the site operator or trucker deals with. Right from their hand-held phone!
It has been an amazing year; the first of many. We have learned a lot about our industry, and there are many opportunities for producers and all components of the pork value-chain to use PigTrace for more than just a disease response tool. Ideas are welcome.