Legislation - Is your operation legal?
As with any livestock, there are certain federal and provincial laws that producers must comply with.
All sheep producers in Alberta must:
- Have a Premises Identification
- Apply Canadian Sheep Identification Program tags before any animals leave the farm of origin
- Complete an Alberta manifest for all movements of sheep
- Comply with other legislation, both federal and provincial – see below
The following legislation applies to the keeping, raising and transporting of sheep:
- Health of Animals Act & Regulations (federal)
- Animal Health Act and Regulations (provincial)
- Livestock Identification and Commerce Act and Livestock Identification and Regulation (LICA) (provincial)
- Natural Resources Conservation Board Act and the Agricultural Operation Practices Act
Health of Animals Act (Federal)
Canadian Sheep Identification Program became mandatory 1st January 2004.
The Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) is an industry-led initiative to develop a trace back system that will address producer concerns about sheep health and meet consumer expectations for quality assurance and food safety.
All sheep and lambs must bear an approved CSIP ear tag before they leave any premises.
This includes animals leaving the premises temporarily (for example: exhibitions, veterinarian clinics, community pastures). It is illegal to transport untagged animals.
For full details of the CSIP see The Canadian Sheep Identification Program page of this website.
You will need to provide your PID when ordering Canadian Sheep Identification Program tags.
This program is transitioning to the mandatory use of RFID tags. For latest transition dates see www.cansheep.ca.
- CSF votes to adopt mandatory RFID tags (.pdf)
- Decommissioning of Non-Radio Frequency Identification Animal Tags - Frequently Asked Questions (.pdf)
Animal Health Act and Regulations (Alberta)
The intent of the legislation is to put in place both the necessary infrastructure and traceability systems that are designed to increase the capability of a rapid response in relation to threats of disease outbreaks affecting animal health. The Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian of Alberta (OCPV) is given authority to play a lead role in animal disease response and animal health programs.
The Act puts the onus on an owner of an animal or authorised person to advise the OCPV of any reportable or notifiable diseases. These terms refer to diseases that are threats to animal health, public health, food safety, and the economic interests of the animal industry. Additionally, the OCPV has the authority to examine animals that have come into contact with reportable or notifiable diseases.
Response mechanisms are designed to control, eradicate, or employ bio-security measures in order to minimise the risk of presence and spread of disease. These include: inspection; quarantine, the establishment of a surveillance zone or a control zone. If necessary, the OCPV may order the destruction of diseased animals, animal products or by-products, or property that has been contaminated as a result of coming into contact with a diseased animal or a disease causing agent. Examination of diseased dead animals may also be made.
For full details of this legislation, please go to: Government of Alberta Animal Health Act and Regulations.
Premises Identification became mandatory on January 1, 2009
Premises identification is a way of linking farm animals to geographic locations for disease, health and food safety purposes and effective emergency response.
If you are an owner of reportable livestock in Alberta you are required to obtain a Premises Identification (PID) account and register at least one premises in order to obtain a PID number. A PID number is a unique identifying number assigned to a specific piece of property. If you operate co-mingling sites (a site where animals of more than one owner are housed together) you are also required to obtain a PID account, register the site(s) and inform the animal owners of the PID number.
In Alberta, reportable livestock include: cattle, dairy, bison, hogs, sheep, goats, horses, cervids, poultry, llama, alpaca, ostrich, emu, ducks and other game fowl.
This list supports the reportable and notifiable disease regulation that mitigates threats to market access, the economy and/or public health. The list of Alberta's reportable and notifiable diseases are available for review on-line.
There are two ways to apply for a premises identification number to register on-line or to obtain an on-line registration form visit: www.agriculture.alberta.ca/premises
Or you can obtain a paper application form from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) or AFSC offices located throughout Alberta. For further information on the Premises Identification Program contact the Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276). If you want to check on the progress of your PID application, call 780 422 9167.
You will need to provide your PID when purchasing Canadian Sheep Identification Program tags
Individual Animal Identification
For animal identification the ability to identify an individual animal is important in delivering full traceability. Under the Animal Health Act all reportable livestock need to be identified. Most animal identification requirements are administered nationally. Alberta does not wish to duplicate efforts and accepts national provisions in accordance with respective industry systems.
The Livestock Identification and Commerce Act and Regulation (LICA)
The Livestock Identification and Commerce Act (LICA) came into force on January 1, 2009. LICA is a consolidation and modernization of the Brand Act, the Livestock Identification and Brand Inspection Act and the Livestock and Livestock Products Act. All of the provisions of LICA apply to cattle and horses and only select provisions of this Act apply to sheep and swine.
After consultation with producers and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the Alberta Sheep & Wool Commission (now Alberta Lamb Producers) asked that sheep be defined as livestock under the Act. This allows producers to take advantage of the provisions dealing with livestock manifests, sales transactions and licensing of livestock dealers and livestock dealers’ agents.
All sheep transported or driven in Alberta or to a destination outside of Alberta are required to be accompanied with an Alberta livestock manifest. Alberta livestock manifests are available from Livestock Identification Services Ltd. at 1-866-509-2088 or www.lis-alberta.com. (Some Agriculture & Rural Development hub offices and auction markets carry stocks of manifests.)
For help with completing a livestock manifest, download Livestock Manifest in AB (pdf).
When sheep are sold, the sale transaction must be documented in writing by either a bill of sale prepared by the owner or a settlement statement prepared by the purchaser or a livestock dealer on behalf of the seller or the purchaser. The person who sells sheep must disclose whether they are the owner or a livestock dealer acting on behalf of the owner. Also, when sheep are sold, the owner must provide a written livestock security interest declaration to the purchaser or to the livestock dealer acting on behalf of the owner. This declaration can be completed on the livestock manifest or on a separate form.
All persons dealing in sheep must be licensed as a livestock dealer or a livestock dealer’s agent. All of the provisions of LICA and the General Regulation governing the licensing of livestock dealers apply to people to who deal in sheep.
More information on LICA is available at www.lis-alberta.com/lica/pdf/LICA-factsheet.pdf
Natural Resources Conservation Board Act
NRCB (Natural Resources Conservation Board) is responsible for the permitting of CFO's (Confined Feeding Operations) and is also responsible for addressing complaints regarding the management of manure on agricultural operations in Alberta. The NRCB has been responsible for regulating Alberta's confined feeding operations since 2002.
Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) is provincial legislation which sets manure management standards for all operations in Alberta who handle manure. The Act defines siting and construction standards for manure storage and collection facilities, addresses the application of manure to agricultural land and ensures environmental protection through an approval process which involves directly affected neighbours and the municipalities. Nuisances such as odour, dust, noise and smoke resulting from agriculture activities are also dealt with in the Act. The Act also outlines penalties and fines that apply to contraventions of the Act.