What's New?

If you have any questions, ideas or additions for the Scrapie program up to now or for the coming future please contact the Scrapie program co—ordinator. The Scrapie committee meets annually or upon any specific requests.

January 2007 Scrapie Canada Update

Scrapie Canada in 2006

2006 was an action-packed year for both the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) and the National Genotyping Project. Taking a look back on the year that was, Scrapie Canada stated its case from one end of the country to the other.

To start the year off, Scrapie Canada branded itself with an official trademark logo, which would eventually coordinate with the new and improved website that was launched in August. If you haven’t taken the time to check it out yet, make sure that you do (www.scrapiecanada.ca).

Presentations were made throughout the year on both initiatives at various conventions and meetings across the country. In January, Scrapie Canada attended the Agriculture Information Days in Barrie, Ontario, presenting program information to participating and interested sheep producers. Information sessions were also held in Spencerville and Sebringville, Ontario in February and March respectively.

June was a busy month for Scrapie Canada. Heading to the Nova Scotia Sheep Classic in the earlier part of the month, Jonathan Wort presented information on the scrapie projects to approximately 300 Classic attendees. Scrapie Canada returned to eastern Canada later in June, travelling to St. John’s, Newfoundland to attend the Canadian Sheep Federation’s Semi-Annual General Meeting. Industry representatives, sheep farmers and members of the provincial government heard a new presentation on Scrapie Canada, highlighting the benefits of joining the two national programs.

In May, a major change to the National Genotyping Project was announced to Canadian purebred sheep producers. The genotyping survey was now accepting samples from unregistered offspring of two registered purebred parents. This change was made in response to a number of individuals’, both industry representatives and farmers, request to allow unregistered offspring on the program.

Scrapie Canada also attended Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ontario in the second week of September. Tens of thousands of farmers visit this show each year to seek out the latest in farming information and technology. Scrapie Canada shared a booth with other major sheep representatives such as the OMAFRA sheep team and the Ontario Katahdin Sheep Association.

At the end of October, another scrapie presentation was made to delegates at the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency’s Annual General Meeting. Once again, attendees were encouraged to participate in both scrapie projects and were reminded of how important these programs are now and when the US border re-opens.

As 2006 was coming to an end, Scrapie Canada took the opportunity to visit another part of Canada, this time heading west in December to present at the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board’s Annual General Meeting. Weathering the - 44o temperature, Scrapie Project Coordinator Courtney Denard met with Saskatchewan sheep producers to discuss the merits of each scrapie program.

Although changes were made to the National Genotyping Survey in 2006, the number of samples submitted by purebred producers did not meet the original projection of 36,000 samples. In response to this, Scrapie Canada has submitted an application for extension to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which requests that the project be extended until March of 2008. To date, the National Genotyping Survey has collected 4,525 samples- a far cry from the original goal. Please keep an eye on the Scrapie Canada website for updates on this extension (see the “What’s New?” link). As soon as a decision is rendered, this information will be made available to all interested sheep producers.

In regards to the National Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program, to date there are 33 enrolled producers on the program (up from 18 in March 2006). Of these 33, 24 spots are filled by sheep producers. In total, the SFCP has 60 spots available so there are still 36 open positions on the program.

As we work our way into 2007, take a moment to consider the value of these scrapie programs and reflect upon how these initiatives could benefit and/or improve your farm. It is realistic to say, and Scrapie Canada has been advised by the Canadian Government, that once the US border does open, no sheep will be getting across it unless it is a part of a national scrapie program.

If you would like to enroll in the SFCP or have any comments or questions, please contact Scrapie Project Coordinator, at 1-866-534-1302 or by e-mail at admin@scrapiecanada.ca.

Two Sheep

Scrapie Information & Facts



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