Saturday, January 08, 2011
Scrapie surveillance benefits sheep and goat producers
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) encourages sheep and goat producers to continue to do their part to eliminate scrapie from Canada by participating in the scrapie surveillance program.
"Scrapie surveillance is a shared responsibility, with both private and public benefits," says Dr. Brian Evans, chief veterinary officer and chief food safety officer for Canada. "Sheep and goat producers, veterinarians and governments all play an important role in our collective efforts to eliminate scrapie from Canada."
Scrapie is a fatal disease that affects the central nervous system of sheep and goats.
In order to remain competitive and maintain market access for sheep, goats and related products, it is in Canada's best interest to eradicate the disease.
The goal of the scrapie surveillance program is to identify infected animals, so that proper steps can be taken to eliminate scrapie from Canada.
The CFIA would like to test any mature animals (aged 12 months and older) that die on the farm or exhibit the following symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Problems standing or walking
- Changes in behaviour.
To make arrangements to have a sample taken for testing, producers can call the nearest CFIA office or call the CFIA's toll-free number at 1-800-442-2342.
A complete list of CFIA offices is available online or in the government directory of the phone book.
The CFIA covers the costs of testing samples under the scrapie surveillance program.
Sheep and goat producers may also be eligible to receive compensation for any live animals ordered destroyed by the CFIA as a result of a scrapie diagnosis.
In addition to farms, the CFIA is also collecting samples at auction markets, animal health laboratories, deadstock facilities, and slaughter facilities.
For more information on scrapie surveillance, call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 or visit here.
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