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Alta. Ag hangs onto extra livestock ID staff

Extra provincial field staff who were hired to help Alberta cattle producers age-verify their 2008 calf crop will continue on the job until the end of March.

Alberta’s agriculture department said in a bulletin Friday that over 30 additional department staff, as well as 30 part-time staff from the industry-owned inspection agency Livestock Identification Services (LIS), will continue helping livestock producers meet traceability requirements.

The extra staff began work in September and had been contracted to help producers with age verification and premises identification until the end of 2008. Under the Alberta Farm Recovery Plan (AFRP II), producers meeting these requirements by Dec. 31, 2008 will be eligible for a second benefit.

The additional staff will remain to provide help to producers either over the phone or in person.

The province said Friday the contract extensions are “part of the government of Alberta’s commitment to reinvigorate the (livestock) industry.”

Traceability initiatives, such as age verification and premises ID, are now mandatory under the province’s Animal Health Act. Feedlots that feed more than 5,000 animals a year also now must report all move-in and move-out information (that is, except for animals going to slaughter or another feedlot) to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) database within seven days.

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