Integrated western livestock brand inspection system possible

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Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart has appointed industry representatives to serve on an advisory committee that will examine industry-led delivery options for livestock brand inspection services in Saskatchewan.

The Brand Inspection Services Advisory Committee will study the current livestock brand inspection models in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, review options for industry-led brand inspection and recommend a preferred option to the Minister of Agriculture.

"We want to consult with livestock producers, industry and other provinces to explore alternative delivery model options to achieve more efficient brand inspection services in Saskatchewan," Stewart said. "This committee will be tasked with looking at all options and presenting their findings to our government."

Brand inspection services in Saskatchewan are currently delivered through Ministry of Agriculture livestock inspectors. The service is provided to ensure that animals offered for sale are rightfully owned and verified through a brand registry. The role of government in verifying ownership of livestock is unique in Saskatchewan. No other agricultural commodity is purchased or sold in the province with a government service to verify ownership.

Members of the committee include two representatives from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, two representatives from the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, one representative from the Saskatchewan Horse Federation, one representative from the Livestock Marketers of Saskatchewan and two member-at-large representatives.

"I look forward to reviewing brand inspection services in Saskatchewan," Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association Chair and committee co-chair Mark Elford said. "An integrated western Canadian brand inspection system will help ensure the rightful ownership of everyone's cattle and be a win-win for everyone involved."

"We welcome this review of brand inspection and I look forward to examining the options on how industry can improve these services for Saskatchewan producers," Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President and committee co-chair Harold Martens said.

The advisory committee will conduct comprehensive analysis and stakeholder consultations and finalize a recommendation by early 2013.

Organizations: Brand Inspection Services Advisory Committee, Ministry of Agriculture

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia

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