The National Goat ID Program (NGIP) is a developmental step towards a mandatory animal identification program for goats, which will be a future regulatory requirement once the federal government’s National Agriculture and Food Traceability System (NAFTS) is in place. The program will include identification tags and numbers, and reporting guidelines that are anticipated to be included in the mandatory ID program.
There are several benefits of a national goat ID program. Animal ID provides accessible records to support on-farm management decisions. Additionally, it provides valuable information facilitating effective industry response to any emergency requiring traceability information such as disease, tainted product, or weather-related emergencies.
The NGIP is critical to industry sustainability and growth. In a marketplace that is concerned about traceability, food safety, and animal health, an animal ID program is essential to maintaining domestic and international markets. A national ID program for goats also supports the traceability efforts of the agriculture and food sector.
The information gleaned from the tag trial will be critical to the next phase of the NGIP. While an exact date for mandatory tagging is unknown, the CNGF is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to define a mandatory program that will address the needs of goat producers. Once mandatory, all goats leaving premises of origin will be required to bear an approved tag.
In order to assist with traceback investigations and on-farm management, producers are encouraged to record the following information and keep it on-farm for at least five years:
Canadian goat producers play an important role assisting in identifying potential issues that CNGF may need to examine with tag manufacturers. As such, CNGF has launched a tag trial to gather valuable producer feedback for the development of the NGIP. Feedback on tag performance will help ensure the industry has access to the best possible ID tags.
Producers who are already using their own management tags may want to change to one of the recommended ID tags so they are prepared for the next phase of the NGIP. Animals tagged during the trial phase should not need to be retagged later.
For producers who are not yet using management tags, now is the perfect opportunity to provide valuable feedback, and to take advantage of the on-farm management and husbandry benefits of animal ID.
The NGIP is currently recommending three types of tags: Reyflex strip tag, Reyflex small panel tag and the Ryflex RFID tag.
1. Strip tags are well suited for newborn dairy animals, fibre animals and tail tagging.
2. Small panel tags are ideal for pasture animals, meat animals and for producers who want more visual identification.
3. RFID (radio frequency identification) tags will appeal to goat producers who want to use an electronic management system.
Regardless of which tag they choose, producers will receive an assessment form upon purchase to assist CNGF in evaluating tags over time and in farm situations. Producers who have previously purchased NGIP-recommended tags can download an assessment form here.
To order tags, complete this form or call Ketchum Manufacturing directly at 613-342-7550. The CNGF is currently working on getting more ear tags and animal identifiers included in the trial. Producers will be made aware as soon as this is solidified.
Currently, goat producers have the option of tagging animals in one of two locations on the animal; either in the ear or in the tail webbing. The latter option is provided to address the concern of breeders of certain species of goats with small or very little ear tissue, and is also desirable for many dairy producers.
Tagging resources are available for producers that help answer “Why, When, What and How” to use NGIP-recommended tags:
Click on any video to view it. Each video is between 1 and 2 minutes in length. We recommend that you view all videos in the right order the first time you view them.
Video 1: Tagging Systems
Video 2: Tagging Hygiene
Video 3: Restraining Animals
Video 4: Where to Place Ear Tags
Video 5: Where to Place Tail Tags