Canadian Quality Bison Program

The Bison Industry On Farm Food Safety Program

Food safety and food quality issues have in the last two decades become a major priority for virtually every sector that touches food production in Canada’s agriculture industry.  Nowhere is this more evident today than at the primary stage of production — down on the farm.

Today, there are four main drivers for on-farm food safety. These are consumer concerns, government initiatives, customer demands and the actions of Canada’s competitors.   To address these demands, and to demonstrate that Canadian food produced on the farm is among the safest in the world, the agricultural community coordinated with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop on farm food safety programs which are or will be officially recognized by the CFIA for technical soundness and administrative credibility.

The Canadian Bison Association is part of this process and has completed a first step towards the completion of the Canadian Quality Bison Program (CQB). The Canadian Quality Bison program has gone through the technical review where experts reviewed the program detail and made recommendations for enhancements. These adjustments are in the process of being reviewed and incorporated into the program.

Many bison producers across Canada have already attended either a Canadian Quality Bison introductory session or pilot workshop. 

The Canadian Quality Bison Program focuses on three main areas:


  • HACCP based On Farm Food Safety
  • Animal Identification and Traceability
  • Animal Welfare

CQB program participants must meet all program requirements and maintain records that will be used to assess program compliance by reviewers or auditors. 

Animal identification combined with developments in premise identification and animal movement tracking will complement the Canadian Quality Bison Program. 

Participation in the program also requires raising bison according to the Recommended Code of Practice For the Care and Handling of Farm Animals – Bison. This code promotes sound husbandry and animal welfare practices. 

Program Implementation

Those producers who received the documentation through the pilot sessions held across Canada are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the information and principles and where appropriate, incorporate the management principles outlined in these documents into their operations.

A more detailed plan will be developed for implementation in the months to come.

For more information on the Canadian approach to On Farm Food Safety go to