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IdentificationTraceability Marching On

Manitoba is spending $400,000 to develop a new computerized database to hold up its end of a national traceability and surveillance system.

The contract is with IBM to pay for equipment, database development and staffing.

The agri-food premises identification system will locate and register all farms and other places where animals are kept or sold. Registration will begin with the livestock sector, but will be expanded to include all farms, processing plants and places where food is kept.

Manitoba will be working with other federal and provincial partners to track the movement of animals, other commodities and food products across Canada.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s traceability agency, OnTrace, has set up to register single premises for free. Up to now it’s been working through producer organizations to identify and validate the location of agriculture premises owned by members,

As a bonus, premises registered with OnTrace are given a “Global Location Number” (GLN) that links the farm to the GS1 Global Party and Location Registry. GLN enables farmers to take advantage of the GS1 global identification system for their products should they choose to do so.

DiseaseResearcers develop new BSE test for Live Animals

Canadian researchers and collaborators in Germany have discovered a simple inexpensive blood test done on live animals that should be able to detect the presence of BSE infection in cattle and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in elk months before clinical signs of the disease are evident.

They were able to identify specific DNA sequences in blood samples of live animals infected with CWD or BSE.

“The next steps are to analyze a time course series for BSE-infected cattle, to screen different cattle breeds for variances in the sequence patterns and also to look at cattle with brain tumours, brain trauma and other brain infections to make sure we are really picking up BSE,” says Christoph Sensen, the principal investigator from the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine. “Once that is done, our team sees the possibility for the production of a low-cost, high-output standard test kit for industry use in the next few years.”

“It would be possible to certify live animals and beef to be ‘BSE-tested’ and to keep the export channels open at all times,” says Stefanie Czub, a study co-author and head of the CFIA BSE laboratory.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association remains cautiously optimistic about the test but notes it must be 100 per cent accurate to eliminate the need for SRM removal and the enhanced

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