Premises ID and mandatory traceback?

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Alberta farmer

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2008
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I see the USDA got its knuckles rapped for trying to basically force these two things onto American cattlemen?
Now I know Americans aren't too keen on doing this(Premises/ID traceback) but I've always found when a government beurocrat gets something in their head they don't usually give up? Maybe just find another way to get it done?
I see where you can get an affadavit of where your calves were born listed with your local auction barns...that makes you COOL compliant? Will this stand the test of time or is it just a temporary thing until the USDA figures out a way to make cattle ID/premises mandatory?
We went through the mandatory ID thing about 8 years ago. We were given two options: Have our cattle organizations design the program or have it imposed on us. I guess we chose to do it ourselves.
Now we are being told as of this year(Jan.1,2009) we must be premise ID'd and all our 2008 calves age verified. They gave us a few bucks to comply for one year(2008) and then it is mandatory. If you aren't in compliance you can't sell your cattle! The Alberta agriculture minister said "If you can't or won't comply then it is time to exit the business".
Age verification was tried on a voluntary basis for three years and apparently there was a premium made on age verified beef...the only problem was Cargill and Tyson got all the premium! So people said to he!! with this and stopped age verifying...and then Cargill/Tyson went crying to the government to get us dumb yokels to stop screwing us their sweet heart Asian deals!
Now I'm not against age verifying calves or using RFID tags but it sure bugs me that I do all the work, and pay all the expense, have all the headaches just so Cargill/Tyson can make all the money! In fact Cargill/Tyson cried so loud the Alberta government paid for the scanners that read the RFID tags on the kill line!
I suspect you boys down there will be doing the same thing in a couple of years? Obama and company seem to be pretty tight with the consumer lobby and I doubt some signed affadavit at the sale barn is going to cut it? But good luck fighting that one!
I don't know how it is all going to work out. They were all gung-ho about it a few years ago but lately I haven't heard a lot about it, at least in our state, but we are pretty isolated (Maine) from the big guys. I really hope it doesn't go into effect-its a great idea but it is going to be a hassle, especially for smaller farmers to tag all these animals and pay for them, I think it might put even more small farmers out of business :(
everything the pass puts a few more small guys out of business... I sure don't think french farmers would put up with this crap, there'd be a demonstration at the parliament complete with rotten eggs and tomatoes... I just don't see it ever happening here in north america and thus we will just keep getting screwed by every bill, despite we have the power to raise prices, we don't have the solidarity to just not sell cattle if prices are below a certain point
Nesikep: Not real sure what is required in BC. I assume you have to put in an RFID tag but do you have to age verify or have premise ID?
A lot of people were not pleased with the Alberta Ag minister saying comply or exit the industry. I think for some that was the final straw...and they said time to quit!
I don't think Alberta should have gone it alone but apparently the feds wouldn't do anything so they decided to move ahead on their own. I'm not sure how this will work with cattle coming into Alberta from BC, Man., Sask? I think there is a grace period but eventually all feeder cattle coming in will be required to have age verification/premise ID. I see a few weeks ago the Douglas Lake Ranch sold a lot of feeders on the satelite sale and I think many went to feedlot alley in Alberta. Don't know if they were age verified or not.
I wonder how this system will work if economics turn around and dictate that American cattle should be fed in southern Alberta? I am again assuming those calves would have to be age verified/premises ID'd or they couldn't come in?

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