Traceability – Overview

Guidelines, forms and login information for premises and animal identification, and animal movement.

About traceability

Alberta is part of Canada’s national traceability system and works closely with industry organizations representing a diverse number of livestock species and poultry.

Traceability is generally defined as the ability to follow the movement of an animal or food product through specified stages of production, processing and distribution.

Traceability relies on 3 fundamental pillars:

  • Premises Identification: links livestock and poultry to specific land locations and types of agricultural operations
  • Animal Identification: animals are identified using a standard identification system
  • Animal Movement: animals are tracked through the production cycle

These fundamentals enable responses that are precise and expedient to protect livestock, producers and consumers.

Premises Identification

Premises Identification (PID), one of the pillars of traceability, links livestock and poultry to land locations or premises.

The Premises Identification Program was established to plan for, control, and prevent the spread of animal diseases. It is also used as an early warning system to notify animal owners of a natural disaster such as a flood or fire that could affect their animals. Regulations requiring animal owners and operators commingling sites to obtain a PID account became law January 1, 2009 as part of the Animal Health Act.

PID Account login or sign up

By registering your account online you will have direct access to your information and the ability to immediately make any changes to it.

Go to PID Online

Animal Identification

Animals are identified either individually or as a group, depending on the species. Animal identification works with the other pillars of traceability, premises identification and animal movement, to track where animals have been transported and when.

The development and implementation of our animal identification system has been achieved through industry and government working together. Canada's system currently includes mandatory animal identification requirements for cattle (beef and dairy), bison, swine, cervids, sheep and goats. Animal identification is set out nationally.

For more information on animal identification requirements, contact your industry association or review the Species Industry Summaries below.

Animal Movement

Animal Movement is the act of tracing livestock and poultry backwards or forwards through the production supply chain based on animal movement records. Animal Movement together with PID and Animal Identification determines where animals are, where they have been and what other animals they have come into contact with.

Movement records are important because the faster that livestock can be located, the more quickly and accurately livestock at risk of being affected by or exposed to potential diseases or natural threats can be identified and located.

Animal Movement documentation requirements are set out by both the federal and provincial governments. For more information on animal movement requirements, contact with your industry association or review the following Species Industry Summaries.

Traceability Information by Species

Alternative Livestock










Connect with the Inspection and Investigation Section:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-FARM (3276) (in Alberta)
Phone: 403-742-7901 (outside Alberta)