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Alta. boosts staff for cattle age verification

Following through on plans in a departmental reorganization announced earlier this month, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has dedicated over 30 additional staff to help the province’s cattle producers age-verify their 2008 calf crop.

Another 30 part-time staff from Livestock Identification Services (LIS) are also now trained available for age verification work, the province said in a release Wednesday.

The staff from both AARD and LIS have completed “comprehensive” training with mobile field reps from the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA), the province said, and the staff are available “immediately” to help producers who need assistance entering their age verification data.

The added AARD staff stem from the province’s pledge to help producers with the traceability requirements under the Alberta Farm Recovery Plan (AFRP) II, announced in June, the province said.

Under the plan, all producers must update or apply for a premise ID number by Dec. 31, and primary producers must also enter animal birth date information for their entire 2008 calf crop into CCIA database by the same deadline.

“Alberta faces intense competition in the domestic and international marketplace for livestock products,” said Ag Minister George Groeneveld in the province’s release. “Age verification is a key component of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Strategy and key to accessing markets.”

LIS is the industry-owned non-profit agency that handles livestock inspection and other services that the province privatized in 1998.

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