Final Report for the Scrapie Flock Certification Program- Pilot Project

Aug 1

August 2009 Scrapie Canada Update


In 2004, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in consultation with industry, developed the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) for sheep and goat producers to minimize the risk of introducing scrapie into the national sheep flock and goat herd. The program was piloted for a period of five years to determine its feasibility at the farm level and establish a costing framework for nation-wide implementation on an on-going basis.

Between 2004 and 2009, the SFCP pilot project was made available to Canadian sheep and goat producers purebred or commercial. The SFCP pilot project allowed sheep producers to choose between three different pathways to manage the risk of scrapie on their individual farms, while one pathway was made available to goat producers. Pathway 1 was developed under OIE guidelines, meeting international trade regulations put forth by the OIE.

General requirements for the pilot project included: flock surveillance; working with an accredited CFIA veterinarian; and completing an annual inventory of all sheep and goats on the farm. Although not recognized by the OIE, Pathway 2 and Pathway 3 offered sheep producers the opportunity to use tissue biopsies and genotype testing, along with surveillance, to monitor scrapie on the farm. Following April 2007, producers wanting to import female sheep or goats (including embryos) from the United States (U.S.) were required to be enrolled on the SFCP- Pathway 1.

Producer Participation

In total, 57 sheep producers and 10 goat producers enrolled on the SFCP between 2004 and 2009. These included producers from Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Producer Input and Costs

Over the course of the project, producers were surveyed annually on their cost of participation. 71 surveys were completed over the five years of the pilot project, tracking producers’ contributions. Taking an average over the five years, producers spent approximately 2 hours per year completing application forms; 7 hours per year on record keeping; 3.5 hours handling animals during the annual vet inspection; and 2 hours assisting the vet during the annual inspection. Two people, on average, were required to complete the vet inspection. In total, producers spent an average of 14.5 hours per year working on all aspects of the program.

Producer Input
Avg. time spent completing application forms 2 hrs. / year
Avg. time spent on record keeping 7 hrs. / year
Avg. time spent handling animals for the vet inspection 3.5 hrs./ year
Avg. time spent assisting vet during inspection 2 hrs./ year
Avg. # of people required for annual vet inspection 2
Avg. time spent on all aspects of the project 14 hrs./ year


Allowing producers a rate of $25/ hour for their time, each producer contributed $362.50 annually to the program. The average vet fee paid out by producers on the program was $252.34 per year. Therefore, one producer contributed a total of $614.84 per year on the program including time and vet expenses.

Producer Costs
Value of producer time spent on the program ($25/ hour rate) $362.50/ year
Average vet fee paid out by producers $252.34/ year
Avg. time spent handling animals for the vet inspection $614.84/ year


Extra expenses paid out by producers were listed (in order from highest to lowest): 1) the cost of extra ID; 2) the cost of collecting and submitting obex samples; and 3) the cost of completing office work (ie: photocopying, paper, software, etc.).

Producers were asked to provide general comments on the program and the top two answers were (in order from highest to lowest): 1) make more subsidies available to producers on the program; and 2) maintain a high level of communication between producers and the industry (website, updates, etc.). There was a tie for the third highest comment: 3a) do not require a cull to be submitted for testing if there are no natural deaths within a given year and 3b) staff is helpful and knowledgeable.

Cost to the Industry

In total, the five year pilot project cost $295,026. Broken down by year, the cost was as follows: 2004-06 = $78,209; 2006-07 = $77,304; 2007-08 = $67,178; and 2008-09 = $72,335 with an annual average of $73,757.

Total Project Costs
2004-2006 $78,209
2006-2007 $77,304
2007-2008 $67,178
2008-2009 $72,335
TOTAL $295,026


Of the $295,026 total, industry contributed $170,530- $86,608 of this was in cash contributions and $83,922 was in-kind, meaning time spent on the project on behalf of the industry. The remaining $124,496 was a cash contribution made by Agriculture Canada.

Breakdown of Project Cost
Agriculture Canada Cash $124,496
Industry Cash $86,608
Industry In-kind $83,922
TOTAL $295,026

Have a question or comment?

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