Annex R-15: Interim Release Regarding the Application of Special Eartags to Animals Enrolled in the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Hormonal Growth Promotants (HGPs) [Hormonal Growth Promotants and/or Beta Agonists Having an Anabolic Effect] for the Export of Beef to the European Union

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Purpose of this Document

This document outlines an interim change to a provision of the Canadian Program for Certifying Freedom from Hormonal Growth Promotants (HGPs) requiring that a special identification eartag (Ketchum's Hormone-Free Tag) be affixed to animals enrolled in the program at the time they leave the participating cow-calf herd in order to move to the registered feedlot.

Details regarding the existing requirements are found in the current version of the HGPs program (Section 11.7.3 - Export - European Union, Annex R). When the detailed steps described below are followed in full, eligible participants may apply the special eartags at the feedlot after the animals arrive.

Intended Audience

Participants in the HGPs program and persons engaged in the verification of this program.

Reason for the Change

Participants in the HGPs program have highlighted unanticipated challenges regarding the application of eartags at the cow-calf operation. Specifically, the tags may or may not always be available at the time animals are being readied to move from the cow-calf herd to the registered feedlot, and their application is said to result in unnecessary additional manipulation of the animals when being readied to move to the registered feedlot.


To distinguish the interim measure for eartags that will be proposed as the result of a full review of the HGPs program, a decision was made as a result of broader changes, to publish this interim measure separately from the program document.

Sunset Date for the Document and Interim Measure

The document and the interim measure described here will cease to apply at the time that the HGPs program is updated and the new proposal accepted by the EU. It is anticipated that the update will be completed no later than January 2012.

Detailed Steps for this Interim Measure

Eligibility criteria

Participants in the HGPs program who are cow-calf operators and who neither use hormonal growth promotants nor keep any such products on these premises.

Step One: The participant shall advise the CFIA accredited veterinarian responsible for oversight of HGPs program activities at their premise that they are seeking to avail themselves of the option to apply the special identification eartag at the registered feedlot instead of at the cow-calf operation. The participant shall ensure that all the required documentation in support of the change is in order.

Step Two: The CFIA Accredited Veterinarian shall contact the CFIA District Office and communicate the decision by the participant. The CFIA Accredited Veterinarian shall have evidence that HGPs program calves have been identified with a Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) eartag, that the calves were age verified in the CCIA database (Note: this is an additional requirement to the standard program) and the cow-calf operation is registered with the CFIA. The information shall be verified on site by the CFIA Accredited Veterinarian at the cow-calf operation and recorded on Annex R5 of the HGPs program - this verification may be done at the time the CFIA Accredited Veterinarian performs an enrolment or monitoring visit at the cow-calf operation.


  • Additional identifying tags may be included as well to assist in identifying animals that have lost their CCIA tags but in the case where they are not and a CCIA tag is not present at the arrival to the feedlot, the animal must be removed from the HGPs program.
  • Notification to operate under this provision must be presented to CFIA District Office at least one working day prior to the movement of these animals.

Step Three: Prior to shipping the calves to the registered feedlot, the owner shall complete the CFIA Transfer Certificate (Annex R7 of the HGPs program) as per the HGPs program manual (July 2008). The Transfer Certificate must list all CCIA RFID tag numbers as well as any corresponding ranch management tag numbers for all program calves. The original Transfer Certificate must accompany the calves to the feedlot.

Step Four: The Ketchum's hormone free tags shall be applied to calves either at the time they are initially received at the registered feedlot or no later than 90 days after their arrival. The registered feedlots shall have a written protocol in place that describes identification and segregation procedures to maintain traceability of program animals. An inventory of tags used at the feedlot including those spoiled must be kept by feedlot management and cross referenced to the CCIA and ranch management tag.

Step Five: The registered feedlot shall update their cattle registry (Annex R5 of the HGPs program) to document the corresponding CCIA tag, Ketchum's hormone free eartag, ranch management tag, and feedlot management tag for all program cattle on Annex R6 of the HGPs program.

A copy of the Annex R6 document shall be sent to the registered cow-calf producer who produced the calves within 3 business days of application of the hormone-free tags; a copy of this document shall also be provided to the CFIA Accredited Veterinarian responsible for oversight of the HGPs program at the cow-calf producer's premises, the CFIA Accredited Veterinarian responsible for oversight of the HGPs program at the feedlot, and the local CFIA District Offices where the program cattle are registered. The registered cow-calf operator shall update the cattle registry for their operation (Annex R5 of the HGPs program) with the information provided on this document within 10 days of its receipt.

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