Creating a Scrapie Resistant Herd

Imagine a scrapie-resistant goat industry. Picture minimizing the risk of losing your whole herd just because a single goat had scrapie. Knowing the immense work and cost associated with rebuilding, think about how wonderful it would be to use genetic indicators to select and breed goats that are scrapie resistant. That’s the direction Ontario Goat is pushing your industry.

Scrapie is a slow-moving but fatal central nervous system disease in goats and sheep that limits productivity and poses a severe risk to the viability of the industry. As a first step towards eliminating scrapie susceptibility in the provincial goat herd, Ontario Goat (OG), partnered with Centre of Excellence for Goat Research & Innovation, leveraged your checkoff dollars and secured funding the through Growing Forward 2 to test goat breeds and herds for genotypes that may indicate resistance or susceptibility to scrapie disease. This incredible new project will build on findings from Dr. Bradley White’s previous research scrapie disease study where he looked at infected and unaffected goats involved in two recent Ontario scrapie disease outbreaks.

Dr. White, a geneticist at Trent University, will be a featured speaker at OG’s Producer Education Day and Annual General Meeting. Join us February 24 in Woodstock to hear him share his recent research on genetic resistance and susceptibility to scrapie disease in goats. He will also introduce OG’s upcoming project on the prevalence of the scrapie susceptible and resistant genotypes in Ontario goat herds. “A genetic survey of Ontario goats will be a major step towards the creation of a strategy for developing scrapie-resistant herds in Ontario and demonstrates the practical value of university-industry partnerships,” said Dr. White. This partnership and research could lead to big wins in the Ontario goat industry. As a goat producer concerned for Scrapie, you won’t want to miss this important presentation.

OG hosts its Annual General Meeting and Producer Education Day onWednesday, February 24th at Goff Hall in Woodstock. The event, which runs from 10:00am to 3:00pm, also features a trade show and buffet luncheon. The day is free for members and $45 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please click here or contact the OG office at 519-824-2942, toll free at 1-866-311-6422, or by email at

This year’s agenda boasts an exciting lineup of presentations geared towards producers and industry partners alike. To see the agenda highlights please click here. Stay tuned for more information.

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