Standards and Practices


The Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard

The Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard provides practical and effective on-farm biosecurity practices that, when properly applied and followed, can reduce the risk of impact of endemic diseases and reduce or prevent the risk of a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) outbreak in the Canadian herd. Developed in consultation with beef cattle producers, industry and government, the Standard is designed specifically for the Canadian beef cattle industry and is applicable to farm level operations of all types and sizes. The Standard is a tool that provides broad risk management guidelines that are practical and science-based and specific to the beef cattle industry. Its focus is on practices and procedures that are of a low-cost to the producer to implement. The general practices and guidelines of the Standard are voluntary.

Download the Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard.
Download the Standard’s Implementation Manual.

The Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard is built on four basic principles of on-farm risk reduction: managing and minimizing animal movement risks; managing the movement of people, vehicles, equipment and tools; managing animal health practices; and the biosecurity knowledge/training of personnel on the operation’s biosecurity plan. Each principle has target outcomes that can be achieved in a variety of ways through additional supportive information.

Supportive fact sheets on these principles are available here:

Managing animal health practices
Managing the movement of people, vehicles, equipment and tools
Managing the movement of high risk animals
Educate, plan and record

Additional Resources:

BCRC – Biosecurity Tips


Livestock traceability allows animals to be traced through their lifetime. The primary purpose is to control and mitigate a disease outbreak. Current federal traceability requirements for cattle were introduced in 2000. Proposed regulatory amendments were published in Canada Gazette 1 in 2023.

The current traceability system is based on animal identification. The proposed regulations would incorporate movement reporting and geographical information in the form of provincially managed premises IDs. Reporting timelines would also be substantially shortened. CCA is actively engaged with CFIA to ensure that future regulations are both effective at achieving the intent of traceability and feasible for industry to implement.

The program requires each head of cattle in Canada to have a Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) approved ear tag applied prior to leaving the farm of origin. The radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags have a unique identification number that is allocated from a national database. The unique number of each animal is maintained to the point of export or carcass inspection.

In the event that a serious animal health issue is identified, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has two points from which to trace an animal’s movements – the point where the health issue was identified and its herd of origin. The Canadian Cattle Identification Program has been recognized internationally for its effectiveness and cost-efficiency. Proposed regulatory changes would incorporate movement reporting and geolocation through provincial Premises ID.

The CCA remains active in the policy recommendation for the beef cattle industry as it relates to the next steps of traceability implementation.

The main recommendations to accommodate a phased-in approach for a mandatory comprehensive traceability system for beef cattle include:
  • In consultation with the beef industry, develop national regulations with consistent delivery standards and with direct funding support for technology development and implementation by industry stakeholders.
  • In consultation with the beef cattle industry, develop the regulations with a non-punitive, educational approach for a period of time until field studies demonstrate that the technology supports the satisfactory speed of commerce.
  • Premises ID must be completed prior to the implementation of movement reporting. National standards for assigning premises ID are imperative and must be consistent for all provinces. 
  • The implementation of all aspects of traceability is dependent on technology solutions that do not impede the normal business practises of the industry (commerce).