Comments Welcome on New Proposed Import Protocol

Jul 25

July 2009 Scrapie Canada Update

The Canadian sheep and goat industries have been given the opportunity to submit comments on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s proposed import protocol (relating to the importation of sheep and goats). Please see the proposed protocol below.

The deadline for comments is July 31, 2009. Please feel free to send comments directly to the CFIA or to Scrapie Canada. If you are sending comments to Scrapie Canada, please do so by July 20, 2009.

If you have any questions about the proposed import protocol, or how to send in comments, please contact the National Scrapie Project Coordinator at or 1-866-534-1302.

Modifications to the Canadian Import Requirements for Small Ruminants (Intact Females)

Since the lifting of the prohibition on the import of small ruminants from the U.S., both the importing and exporting flocks have been required to be enrolled in their respective country’s scrapie flock certification program. As previously indicated, these requirements are changing in 2009.

The requirement that the exporting premises in the U.S. be of an equivalent or higher status than the importing premises in Canada remains in place. The proposed modifications include the following:

  1. Intact female small ruminants are to be imported to a premises that has been enrolled in the scrapie flock certification program in Canada for at least 12 months with at least one annual inventory having been completed.
  2. The premises of origin from which animals are to be exported must have been enrolled in the United States Department of Agriculture officially recognized scrapie flock certification program in the U.S. for at least 12 months with at least one annual inventory completed and compliant with requirements equivalent to the Canadian program via participation in the scrapie flock certification program (vSFCP)

In addition, an alternate protocol is being proposed for the importation of intact female small ruminants in groups that are being imported and maintained in Canada with an expectation that no deaths will occur in the group for many years (e.g. small groups of rare breeds; animals for ongoing fibre production) and aged animals are not routinely sent to slaughter. This new protocol proposes that intact female sheep or goats may be imported to a premises in Canada that is not on the scrapie flock certification program if the females to be imported (or the dams of females less than 12 months of age) are subject to the recto-anal mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) biopsy test prior to importation and prior to any movement off the importing premises. Annual inventories and surveillance of any on-farm mortalities will be required for a period of five years or until RAMALT biopsies have been repeated 24–30 months after importation of the intact females. The availability of this protocol is subject to operation feasibility at the local CFIA district office.

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Scrapie Canada's Project Partners

Canadian Sheep Federation

Canadian Sheep Breeder’s Association

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadian National Goat Federation

Canadian Food Inspection Agency