Volume 3 Issue 4 • August 3, 2010

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In This Issue ...


CCIA Database Account Number Key to Traceability Improvements

As of September 1, importers and exporters of cattle, bison and sheep will be asked to provide their Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) or Agri-Tracabilite Quebec database account number on animal health export certificates and import permits.

Canfax Market BriefsAdding the CCIA database account number to import permits and export certificates will enhance Canada’s ability to track animals entering or leaving the country, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said.

More specifically, the move will provide better information about which animals have been exported or imported into the country, said Eric Aubin, traceability, regulatory and policy officer with the CFIA.

The issue is that the information collected in the CFIA database is not linked with the CCIA database, he said.

As such, the information collected in the CFIA database, which collects information about those animals that are ineligible for being imported or exported, is not linked with the CCIA database, which collects information about which animals have actually been reported to be exported or imported, he said.

“We basically want to add a common data field to the CFIA data base, which is going to make it easier for us to do cross-validation of the information collected in the CFIA database with the information collected in the CCIA database,” Aubin said.

Having the common data field, which is the CCIA account number, will make it easier to link both data bases together.

The CFIA noted ready access to accurate, up-to-date information in emergency situations is critical because it can reduce response time, which will limit the economic, environmental and social impacts of a situation.

While there is no regulatory requirement to comply, Aubin said the CFIA strongly encourages producers to participate.

Steve Primrose, past chair of the CCIA, said the move makes sense and he’s looking forward to working with importers and exporters to get them to adopt the practice.

“This will work, and we’d rather be working with our exporters and importers on a voluntary basis to make it work. It’s not a problem for us at all to add that (CCIA database number) on, so long as we know there’s reasons why and there are benefits,” he said.


Consumer Confidence Wanes in July; BoC Cites Global Uncertainty in Outlook

Summer may be in full swing but consumers appear to be firmly mired in the doldrums. The Conference Board of Canada’s consumer confidence index for July dipped 3.7 points from the month prior to 80. The deterioration in consumer sentiment was recorded clear across the country, with British Columbia’s index eroding the most, 12.5 points to 78.9. The Atlantic Provinces and the Prairies also slipped, the latter falling 4.8 points to 93.7.

In the U.S., the Conference Board consumer confidence index fell to a five month low in July, as consumer pessimism about the short-term outlook took a turn for the worse.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote in his latest economic insights report that consumers and investors alike are starting to fret over the possibility of a double-dip recession. However, he said that in the modern era, double dips are more often feared than a reality.

“A double dip is to be avoided at all costs when holding a potato chip at the buffet line, and less trivially, when steering economic policy,” Shenfeld wrote.

According to CIBC’s Recession Probability Index, the U.S. and Canadian economies will see growth slow over the next six months but are unlikely to experience a double-dip recession. The odds of another U.S. recession occurring in the next six months are very low, Shenfeld said of the index results released July 27.

While that forecast may impart some small sense of relief, the question remains whether further interest rate hikes in Canada are likely this year.

In its July Monetary Report, the Bank of Canada said its decisions since April still leave
considerable monetary stimulus in place, consistent with achieving the two per cent inflation target.

In April, the bank removed its conditional commitment, followed by two increases to the overnight rate of 25 basis points each, the latest in July, to raise the key rate to 0.75 per cent.

“Given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook, any further reduction of monetary stimulus would have to be weighted carefully against domestic and global economic developments,” Canada’s central bank said.

On Thursday, the Bank of Canada released its 2011 schedule for announcing decisions on its key policy interest rate and confirmed the announcement dates for the remainder of 2010.
The remaining 2010 announcement dates are: Wednesday, Sept. 8; Tuesday, Oct. 19; and Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Action News will continue to monitor the interest rate picture and spell out what the developments mean for producers in coming issues.


The CCA Talks Chop on Alberta Prime Time

In case you missed it, CCA director and animal care committee chair, Dave Solverson, recently appeared on Alberta Prime Time to take part in a panel discussion examining whether cattle should be fed grass or grain; which is better for the animal and ultimately the health of the consumer. Solverson, also an executive of the Alberta Beef Producers, was joined in the discussion by a grass-fed proponent.

Solverson landed several key points in the discussion. He set the tone immediately after being introduced ‘as a producer who feeds his cattle grain’ by clarifying for the show’s host the meaning of grain finishing (ie: that 80 per cent of the production of that animal is grass-based, with an average of 100-150 days spent on a high grain ration to finish the animal to the acceptance of consumers). Other points made included that the barley fed to cattle in Alberta is from the same botanical family as the grasses producers already use and the importance to the structure of western agriculture to have a vibrant feed grains market.

He noted grain-finishing is the practice of the majority of producers, and talked about the positive attributes the practice imparts on beef and the demand for the trim.

“Alberta built its reputation on grain fed beef and it is world recognized as a tremendous product,” Solverson told the show’s host.

To watch the piece in full, go to: http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=1235&FlashVars=Video/PTG_071410.flv.


Do Distillers’ Grains Affect Animal Health?

Researchers in Saskatchewan and Alberta are examining whether feeding DDGS (20 to 60 per cent of the ration) affects the incidence of digestive, liver, lameness and polio problems in feedlot cattle. Click here to learn why they’re concerned and what they’re doing.


Countdown to 2010 CCA National Convention and Semi-Annual Meeting Begins

The 2010 CCA National Convention and Semi-Annual Meeting starts next week. The event runs Aug. 10-13 in Calgary and is the place to be to stay informed. Witness key decision makers discuss our industry’s most pressing issues, and take advantage of the meeting’s excellent networking opportunities with events like the golf tournament, half-day tour and entertainment evening with live auction benefiting 4-H.

Click here to download the complete information package [PDF / 1.82MB], including schedules and registration forms.

Questions? Contact the CCA office at 403.275.8558, ext. 405 or email jenkinsp@cattle.ca. See you next week!

CCA Action News

Staff Contributors: Reynold Bergen
Written, edited and compiled by: Gina Teel and Tracy Herbert

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The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is the national voice for nearly 90,000 Canadian beef cattle producers

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