As part of the VSFCP, producers are required to complete a brain test on any animal that dies on the farm that is over one year of age. If no animals die within the year, producers are required to cull an animal that is over 24 months of age and complete a brain test.
The cost of the brain test is covered by the program.
In order for the cost of the brain test to be invoiced to Scrapie Canada, producers must submit a cover letter with the following information to the laboratory along with the brain sample.
If submitting the entire head to the laboratory, please note that most laboratories charge an extra fee to remove the obex from the head (approximately $15.00 depending on the laboratory). This removal fee is not covered by the program and producers are responsible for paying this cost. If submitting the entire head, producers should contact the laboratory in advance and inquire about the cost of the obex removal.
Although entire heads may be submitted to most laboratories, shipping and analysis costs will be lower if only the portion of the brain (the obex) that will actually be used in the analysis is sent to the lab.
Some producers may prefer to have their veterinarians remove the obex. The National Standards state, “The head of the animal may be submitted directly to an approved provincial laboratory by the producer, or the accredited veterinarian may collect brain samples for submission to either an approved provincial laboratory or to a CFIA district office to be sent to a CFIA laboratory (as part of the national scrapie surveillance program). The brain samples may be collected by an animal health technician or other veterinarian under the supervision of the accredited veterinarian however, the responsibility of the sample collection and submission remains with the accredited veterinarian. In all cases, the head (or the sample) should be chilled or frozen immediately. The owner must contact the laboratory or the accredited veterinarian must contact the CFIA district office in advance before submitting a head. The head must bear animal identification.”
For accredited veterinarians interested in learning the technique, click the following link for instructions (obex removal). Accredited veterinarians may also request a DVD of the technique from the Scrapie Project Coordinator (Telephone: Toll Free 1-866-534-1302, Facsimile 613-652-1599; firstname.lastname@example.org).
For producers not enrolled in the VSFCP who wish to submit samples for testing, please contact your local district CFIA office to arrange the best method of submission (e.g. bringing the head in yourself, having an inspector come out to remove the sample, etc).
Note: If you are sending samples to the Alberta Agriculture lab, they request that producers within Alberta submit the entire head, while out-of-province producers must submit only the obex.
The VSFCP covers the cost of obex testing (producers will not be invoiced) if conducted at one of the following labs:
Agri-Food Laboratories Branch
6909 – 116th Street
Edmonton, AB Canada, T6H 4P2
Laboratory Services, a division of the University of Guelph
Building 49, OVC, Box 3612,
Guelph, ON, Canada, N1H 6R8
Phone: 519-824-4120 X: 54544
*This lab is CFIA approved
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK, CANADA, S7N 5B4
3220, rue Sicotte
Saint-Hyacinthe QC J2S 7X9
***Free for Quebec producers only
Producers may submit samples to the CFIA for testing, with costs covered by the national scrapie surveillance program.
The accredited veterinarian or producer may submit obex samples or entire heads to a CFIA district office to be sent to a CFIA laboratory (as part of the national scrapie surveillance program). In all cases, the head (or the sample) should be chilled or frozen immediately. The owner must contact the laboratory or the accredited veterinarian must contact the CFIA district office in advance before submitting a head through the CFIA district office. The head must bear animal identification matching that used in inventory reporting.