To do it or not to do it. Will I get paid extra if I do it? Who knows? Maybe you should worry about if you can even get someone to buy your cattle if they are not Age Verified. My suggestion is to get it done now, because it costs nothing to do it and all you would be out is your time. You have time into branding, feeding, baling, calving, fencing and all the rest. What are a few hours more to get the A.V. done?
Japan, South Korea and maybe a few other countries will not accept our beef or offal (entrails) unless those products are from A.V. cattle. What was the point of getting those countries back into our market place after B.S.E. if we do not A.V. enough cattle to supply those markets? Age verification is going to become even more important as we find more B.S.E. cows.
My friend Doug Horner, Alberta’s Agriculture Minister, is adamant that A.V. is going to be mandatory in Alberta in 2007. That will be about the time that this year’s calf crop is fat or finished. Will our order buyers have any Alberta orders for non-aged verified calves this fall? Sure, we usually send the really fancy calves to Ontario or Quebec and the next cut to the U.S. Still you wouldn’t want to eliminate any competitive bidding by not Age Verifying your calves would you?
The general consensus seems to be that there may not be much of a premium paid for A.V. calves but there will likely be substantial discounts for non-A.V. calves. This to me amounts to the same thing. Everybody I know in the marketing end of the cattle business is encouraging cattle people to bite the bullet and get it done.
You do not have to have each calf’s individual birth date. For example; you can lump all the calves born between March first and June thirtieth into one group if you want.
Next problem: We are being warned to not leave it until the last minute or shipping time or shipping week. Last year not near as many calves were being A.V. but in the fall the C.C.I.A. system was bogged down. This year it will be a nightmare. So please save yourself a lot of frustration and do it as soon as possible. No, the auction market doesn’t age verify your calves. We don’t have the staff or the expertise to do this, besides it has to be done long before shipping.
Not computer literate? Lots of us older fellows are not but we all know someone who is. Ask them for help. You may also contact Assiniboia Vet Clinic 306-642-4447 and they will do your age verification for you, for a small fee. For more information on Age Verification please call: 1-877-909-2333 or visit www.canadaid.ca