Just recently launched, the campaign’s objective is to increase awareness of the CFIA’s National Scrapie Surveillance Program and encourage producers to submit brain samples from all sheep and goats that die on the farm.
Together with several agricultural ministries, the CFIA developed and implemented the National Scrapie Surveillance Program in 2006. Put in place to detect scrapie in the national sheep flock and goat herd, the goal of this ongoing program is to identify every infected animal so that proper steps can be taken to completely eradicate scrapie from Canada.
While the number of samples submitted for surveillance has increased slightly over the past two years, the program is still operating well below its targeted surveillance numbers. In light of this, the new research and communications campaign was initiated to measure awareness of the program and promote the role producers play in its success.
As one of the main target audiences of the campaign, Canadian sheep and goat producers are being asked to participate by completing an online survey related to scrapie and the National Scrapie Surveillance Program.
Through the online questionnaire, the CFIA is hoping to inform producers about the National Scrapie Surveillance Program, while at the same time find out why sample submission has been so low. The results will assist the CFIA in gauging producers’ awareness of scrapie, as well as their participation in scrapie surveillance.
“The survey will help the CFIA get a better idea of what producers are thinking, thereby allowing us to target our messaging, if necessary,” says Bryan Blom, Assistant Senior Communications Advisor for the CFIA.
The survey is open until January 16, 2009, 11:45 p.m. EDT.
Paper copies of the survey can be obtained by calling 1-800-442-2342.