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.

May 2009 Scrapie Canada Update

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced that requirements around the importation of female sheep and goats into Canada from the US are set to change in the fall of 2009. These changes are in line with the message the CFIA has been communicating to the Canadian sheep and goat industries since 2002, that in the future only flocks and herds that are fully certified (on the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program) will be able to export to other countries.

So if we’re concerned about export, why do importation regulations have to change?

As Canada moves towards scrapie eradication we have to tighten up our import protocols to reduce the risk of bringing scrapie into the country. One of the ways this will be accomplished is by establishing import conditions that are in keeping with the policies laid out by the World Organization for Animal Health, more commonly referred to as the OIE.

Current and potential trading partners such as the US, Mexico and South America take into account whether Canada follows OIE regulations when considering trade agreements with us. In the past, when Canada has spoken with South America about trade, they have questioned whether or not our country is OIE compliant. Also, the US has made it very clear that they are trying to follow OIE criteria when it comes to scrapie. They have publicly stated that they are working towards eradication and want to be recognized as “scrapie free” in accordance with OIE standards by 2017.

The latest proposed import changes, which are listed below, are the CFIA and the industry’s next steps in moving towards becoming more OIE compliant and also achieving scrapie eradication.

Proposed changes:

  • Intact female sheep or goats are to be imported to a premises that has been enrolled in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) in Canada for at least 12 months with at least one annual inventory having been completed (the initial inventory is not considered an annual inventory).
  • The exporting premises must have been enrolled in the US Scrapie Flock Certification Program for at least 12 months with at least one annual inventory having been completed (the initial inventory is not considered an annual inventory).
  • The exporting US premises must be enrolled on the Export Monitored program level; OR enrolled on the Complete Monitored program level (with additional testing of all deads over 18 months of age for at least 12 months).
  • The exporting premises in the US must be of an equivalent or higher status than the importing premises in Canada.

In addition, new protocol is being proposed for the importation of intact female sheep/ goats going into a flock/ herd that does not expect any deaths for many years; and does not routinely send aged animals to slaughter. For example, the importing flock/ herd would be small groups of rare breeds or animals that are being used for ongoing fibre production.

The new protocol proposes:

  • Intact female sheep or goats may be imported to a property in Canada that is not on the SFCP if they are subject to a recto-anal biopsy test prior to importation. The exporting US flock/ herd will also not be required to be on the US Scrapie Flock Certification Program as long as they have been assembled as a group for at least 12 months and recto-anal biopsies are completed.
  • If the female sheep/ goats are under one year of age, their dams must be subject to the recto-anal biopsy test prior to importation into Canada.
  • Once imported into Canada, the female sheep/ goats must be subject to a recto-anal biopsy test prior to any movement off the importing premises.
  • Annual inventories and surveillance of any on-farm deads will be required for a period of five years or until recto-anal biopsies have been repeated 24-30 months after importation.
  • The availability of this protocol is subject to operation feasibility at the local CFIA district office.

The industry has been given the opportunity to voice its thoughts and concerns on the proposed changes before they are finalized. Please send your comments in writing to Scrapie Canada at 130 Malcolm Road, Guelph, Ontario, N1K 1B1 or by e-mail at admin@scrapiecanada.ca

Two Sheep

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