Undercover Operation Smashes ‘Dial-a-Dope’ Ring
. . . Leads to 23 Charges
Rancher Myron Read checks a pair of 12 hour old calves north of Provost as calving season is underway. Read, who ranches with his parents Keith and Lily says they expect to have 150 newborn calves by the time the birthing is done at the end of next month. At the time of this picture they had 54 new calves (about one third of those expected). ©Provost News Photo. Print edition in April 21 edition of The Provost News.Want to Subscribe to The Provost News? Click here.
More Tagging, Paperwork Cutting Profits— Rancher
A rancher who raises cattle two and one half miles south of Chauvin says new tagging rules affecting cattle in community pastures are creating more of “a workload, headaches—and cutting into the bottom line.”

Kent Larouche, who operates Larouche Farms with his father Roland told The News that new tagging regulations mean that they are required to install tags that are compatible with a radio frequency in addition to their bar code tags. Larouches are associated with the Manitou Cattle Breeders Association and another community pasture in the St. Paul area.

The 37 year old who has been ranching full time since he was 18 is frustrated and is afraid that a new system will turn out like the problem-plagued national gun registry program.

He also points out that tracking controls are needed but is concerned with the practicality of the new cattle identification situation.

The rancher put his thoughts down on paper. His comments:

“I am directing this letter to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, “CCIA” board of directors and to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency “CFIA” to express my disappointment with their decision to remove the exemptions and make it mandatory for all cattle going to a community pasture to have a CCIA tag in the ear. In my humble opinion, this ruling is telling any producer who has cattle in a community pasture situation, that all cattle in a producers operation, have to carry a CCIA tag at all times. Not just at time of sale, as was the ruling up until 2004. As I already had a couple of other beefs with the “system”, this is near to the straw that broke the camel’s back and I would like to put to paper my thoughts.
As of 2004, exemptions were removed and it is now mandatory that all cattle in community pastures carry a CCIA tag, regardless of the fact that these animals are not permanently leaving their herd of origin. We belong to two community pastures and it is mandatory that all adult cattle be branded in both pastures. In one pasture the ruling is a brand on all livestock as well as a mandatory ‘Producer ID dangle tag’ in the ear. This is a single small “dangle type” ear tag with a number specific to each producer in the pasture. This way, managers have a double way of identifying cattle. Processing is quick and simple.

I have the opinion that a CCIA tag in a “community pasture cow” is of absolutely no value. The pastures do not care, nor want to take the time to read and record any CCIA identification numbers or read a RFI “Radio Frequency Identification” tag to track animal movement for the CFIA. It is of no benefit to the pasture. If all these cattle are returning to their herd of origin, what is the purpose of reading CCIA tags? Processing at the pasture level needs to be quick and efficient—not lengthy and time consuming. Individual animal record keeping to track movement at this stage is of no value to the pasture. If any problems arise from an animal that was in a community pasture; unless the animal permanently left its herd of origin, or has changed ownership since it was in the pasture; the problem animal will be at the home of the producer who brought it to the pasture in the first place. As well as any other animals that had contact with that “problem animal” at any community pasture, will be at their respective herd of origin. The traceability of any questionable animals was there before the exemption was removed. Any animal that permanently left the herd of origin, will show up in CCIA records, as it was already mandatory they have to be tagged before leaving the herd of origin.

I want to make it clear that I am in no way against the CCIA identification of cattle. Tagging an animal before permanently “leaving its herd of origin” is a mandatory ruling to which I do not object. As well I have no problem with tagging an animal once it “changes ownership.” I fully support that part of the system. I do have a problem with a mandatory requirement that in my opinion, has no value in the tracing back of one animal, to others that may have come into contact with an “animal in question” while at community pastures. Any community pasture, as far as I know, has long running records, of who belongs, or who has belonged to the pastures, past and present. If they don’t it should be mandatory that they keep those records, not mandatory that community pasture cows carry a CCIA tag when they are returning to their own herd of origin. With mandatory tagging and tracking of all animals going to community pastures, many dollars would have to be spent on the time factor and labor involved in tagging and re-tagging an animal because of tag retention rate. As well there is an added cost of keeping records of tag numbers of cows going to each pasture, a cost paid for at the expense of the cow/calf producer. I realize that some producers may already do this but for anyone with a significant number of cattle, ourselves' included, this sorting and recording is time consuming and not economical. If a cow only needs to be tagged once it changes ownership, that money spent on tags, in time, in labor and in keeping records is spent only one time. Most mature bulls will not even fit into a headgate to tag them. If you can get them in to tag them once, I can pretty much guarantee you will not get them in again. There is a greater risk of injury to the producer and animal the more times any of these animals are handled.

Rest of story and photo in April 21 edition of The Provost News.
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Extra Barrels Arrive for Beautification Project in Town
Full story and picture in April 21 edition of The Provost News.
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Man Happy, Gets Help as Evergreens Replaced Near Town
Story and photos in April 21 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we asked: "Should There be a Major Expansion of More Space For Elderly or Ill at Hillcrest and the Health Centre?"
. . . and we heard opinions from Lock McLean, Keith Boomhower, Debbie Harlow, Ryan Bichel and Jonathon Wong.
Check out the
April 21 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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