Changes are coming that may affect the market value of certain equine animals. Effective January 31, 2010, owners of horses, donkeys, zebras and crosses, referred to as equine, should be prepared to record all vaccines and medications given (administered or fed) to their animals as well as provide a record of any illnesses previously diagnosed by a veterinarian if owners wish to keep the option of selling their animal either directly or indirectly to a Canadian meat processor.
Effective July 30, 2010, it will be mandatory for all Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspected facilities in Canada engaged in the slaughter of equines for edible purposes to have complete records for all animals (domestic and imported) presented for slaughter. These records will include unique identification for each animal, and a record of medical treatments administered to the animal for the six-month period preceding slaughter.
The required records will take the form of an Equine Identification Document (EID) that must be presented for each equine processed for edible purposes in a CFIA inspected processing facility from July 30, 2010 forward. Included in the EID, will be a standardized description of the animal, as well as a comprehensive record of the equine’s medical treatment for at least the preceding six months. The various options for identification, including visual and written descriptions, will be listed in the document. The document is intended to accompany the equine, at the time of ownership transfer, to the buyer of the animal. The EID will require a signed declaration by the owner of the equine as to the accuracy of the information recorded in the EID.
The launch of this new Equine Identification Document (EID) program is the first step in the development of a comprehensive food safety and traceability program for the Canadian equine industry – for both Canadian consumers and export market customers. Copies of the EID form will be available at www.inspection.gc.ca.
There are a number of medications and substances that are prohibited from being given (administered or fed) to equine intended to be slaughtered for human consumption. A list of these medications and substances will be available at www.inspection.gc.ca.
For the latest information about identifying and recording health information for your equine, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca or call 1-800-442-2342.