Important Changes to the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program

Apr 25

April 2009 Scrapie Canada Update

Since 2004, the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) has been funded by Agriculture Canada’s Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Program (ACAAF). After five productive years, on March 31, 2009, the ACAAF program officially came to an end. This means Ag Canada will no longer be funding the SFCP. In light of this, changes surrounding administrative fees, processing applications and obex (brain) testing fees have occurred. These changes are outlined in more detail below.

Changes to Administrative Fees and Processing Applications:

As of April 1, 2009 an annual enrollment fee of $50/ hour plus GST will be charged to each participating producer. This fee will cover the time spent on processing producer files. Producers applying to the program for the first time will be required to include a payment of $50 plus GST with their initial package. Producers submitting their annual application of advancement will also be required to include a payment of $50 plus GST with their advancement package. Cheques should be made out to the Canadian Sheep Federation and files will not be processed if payment is not included. If your file takes longer than one hour to process, you will be invoiced $50/ hour plus GST for each additional hour spent on your file, an amount that is broken down by 30 minute segments.

The number one goal is to ensure that the program is available to producers, something the industry is striving to achieve. However, given the fact that federal funding is no longer available; a user-pay system needs to be implemented in order for the program to continue. A rate of $50/ hour plus GST is considered reasonably priced for this type of service and is on par with other programs in the agriculture industry.

Producers are still permitted to submit their inventories in a paper format; however, to reduce the amount of time spent on processing your file, and therefore reduce your processing fee, submitting your inventory in Microsoft Excel is highly encouraged. In order to serve producers better and ensure an efficient turn around time, processing applications will now be handled in the following manner.

Each file will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. If information or supporting documentation is missing, producers will:

  1. Be contacted and asked to submit the missing information/ documents or;
  2. Will have their file returned back to them.

This decision is dependent upon how much information or documentation is missing from the file. If your file is returned, you will be required to add the missing information/ documents and return the file back to Scrapie Canada. Once Scrapie Canada receives your updated file, it will again be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Changes to Obex (brain) Testing Fees:

As part of the SFCP, producers are required to submit a brain sample from all animals over 12 months of age that die on the farm. If no animal dies on the farm within a one year period, producers are required to submit a cull for testing (the cull must be at least 24 months of age).

Please note, as of April 1, 2009 funding for brain tests is no longer available through the SFCP.

Funding for brain testing is still available through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) National Scrapie Surveillance Program. If you have an animal over 12 months of age die on the farm, or cull that needs to be tested, please contact the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342. The CFIA must be contacted prior to sending the sample to the laboratory.

If you do not send your brain sample in through the CFIA, you will be charged by the laboratory completing the testing. Most laboratories charge approximately $50 per sample (depending on the laboratory), plus additional fees if entire heads are submitted. For more information on laboratory fees, please contact the laboratory you choose to work with.

Finally, the CFIA and the Scrapie Committee will continue to review the SFCP each year in June. Program participants will be given an opportunity to put forward changes they would like to see made to the program before the annual review is made. Comments must be made in writing (e-mail is accepted) and sent to the National Scrapie Project Coordinator by May 15. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer concerning the program, please contact the National Scrapie Project Coordinator. A copy of the updated program standards can be found on the Scrapie Canada Website at http://www.scrapiecanada.ca/VSFCPrules-regs.html.

If you have any questions relating to the above information, please contact Scrapie Canada at 1-866-534-1302 or by e-mail at admin@scrapiecanada.ca

A paper copy of your inventory must still be submitted with your annual Application of Advancement package. Each page of the paper copy inventory must be initialed by the accredited veterinarian.

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Scrapie Canada's Project Partners

Canadian Sheep Federation

cansheep.ca

Canadian Sheep Breeder’s Association

sheepbreeders.ca

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

agr.gc.ca

Canadian National Goat Federation

cangoats.ca

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

inspection.gc.ca