Canada’s import protocol around female sheep/ goats has changed. Now, intact female sheep/goats from the U.S. are to be imported to a Canadian farm that has been enrolled on the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) for at least 12 consecutive months, with at least one annual inventory completed.
The U.S. exporting producer also must have been enrolled in the U.S. Scrapie Flock Certification Program for at least 12 consecutive months, with at least one annual inventory completed. Further, the U.S. producer must be enrolled on the Export Monitored level of the program or the Complete Monitored level of the program (and has been conducting brain testing on all mortalities over 18 months of age for at least 12 months). This last point is not a new requirement- it was implemented in 2007.
Canadian producers with no sheep and goats currently on the property are exempt from the 12 month waiting period as there would be no animals on the farm to inventory. These producers would contact Scrapie Canada and ask for Temporary Enrollment on the program to import.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced these changes in early 2009 as part of the industry’s move towards scrapie eradication. In order to achieve total eradication, Canada must tighten up its import protocols to reduce the risk of bringing scrapie into the country. This process will be gradual, but import requirements will continue to ramp up over the next few years. For example, the next set of changes will take place in January 2011 when Canadian producers will be required to be enrolled on the SFCP for 24 consecutive months prior to importation, along with the completion of a first annual inventory. The same requirement will be placed upon U.S. producers.
The ramping up process is important for a number of reasons. The CFIA explained that prior enrolment in the country’s flock certification program is a key bio-security and risk mitigation component, especially as risk tolerance for scrapie is decreasing.
Ramping up is also important for Canada to achieve scrapie eradication and receive the status of “scrapie free” from the World Organization for Animal Health, more commonly referred to as the OIE. One way of accomplishing this is by establishing import conditions that are in keeping with the policies laid out by 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.
The U.S. has made it very clear that they are following OIE criteria when it comes to scrapie. The U.S. has publicly stated that they are working towards eradication and want to be recognized as “scrapie free” in accordance with OIE standards by 2017. They have told Canada that if a trading relationship between the two countries is to continue, Canada must follow a similar path towards scrapie eradication.
No changes have been made to the import protocol associated with male sheep/ goats.
The CFIA requirements for live animal/ small ruminant imports are available at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/pol/pole.shtml#anima
The CFIA requirements for small ruminants imported from the U.S. for breeding, domestic or captive purposes are available at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/pol/ie-2007-5e.shtml
The industry continues to work with the CFIA on all small ruminant importation issues. Any new and relevant information on the issue will be released directly from Scrapie Canada. For more information, please contact Scrapie Canada at 1-866-534-1302 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org