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Traceability funding program now taking forms

Operators of feedlots, auctions and other sites in Canada where large volumes of livestock from various herds mingle can now apply for federal money to help upgrade the sites and buy equipment to trace and identify the animals.

The three-year, $20 million Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI) is accepting applications for proposals for projects beginning April 1.

LATI is expected to help fund upgrades and equipment purchases for auction marts, assembly yards, feedlots, backgrounding operations, privately-managed community pastures, fairs and exhibitions and other “high-risk, high-volume, co-mingling sites.”

“Consumers and a growing number of markets are looking for enhanced traceability,” the government said in a release Wednesday.

Improving the level of “quick and effective tracking” at such sites is also expected to help the livestock industry steer clear of potential animal and food safety risks and, if a disease outbreak occurs, to stem its spread.

“Consumers want to know where food comes from, and countries which can supply that information will win the business,” federal Ag Minister Gerry Ritz said in the release.

LATI’s budget flows from the federal Agricultural Flexibility Fund, itself budgeted for $500 million between 2009 and 2014 to back measures that help cut costs of production, improve environmental sustainability, promote innovation and respond to “market challenges.”

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