Scrapie Confirmed in Ontario Goat Herd

January 28, 2014

First and foremost, Ontario Goat’s thoughts are with the goat producer and family at this very difficult time.  Ontario Goat would like to commend the producer for cooperating with CFIA throughout this ordeal.  Due to personal rights of privacy, the name and location of the producer cannot be released.

At this time the CFIA continues their investigation, including tracing the animal movement involving the infected farm location.  The investigation continues to be hampered by the lack of animal identification and record keeping.  It is important to the overall security of the national herd, that the source of infection be located as soon as possible so that the industry can move towards recovery and re-building.  Ontario Goat encourages all producers to fully cooperate with the CFIA during the investigation process.

Scrapie is fatal to sheep and goats. Regrettably, there is currently no treatment or vaccine for the disease. The Canadian small ruminant industry remains dedicated to the eradication of scrapie in Canada.  Together, the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) and the Canadian Sheep Federation, along with their provincial counterparts like Ontario Goat, have collaboratively worked hard on scrapie eradication policy and programs.   In addition, CNGF and Ontario Goat collaborated on the development of the National Biosecurity Standard for Canadian Goat Farms.  Together, these programs and tools help goat producers to reduce the economic impact of disease on the herd.

Moving forward, Ontario Goat will continue to support and provide assistance where ever possible to the goat producer.  Ontario Goat will also continue to work for the best interests of the Ontario goat industry by facilitating communications, lobbying for new research, testing methods and compensation where possible.  Scrapie is listed as a reportable disease with the CFIA and therefore, producers and veterinarians alike are required to report suspected cases for further testing.

Positive cases of scrapie not only lead to the destruction of carefully crafted breeding programs and impact the livelihood of hard working farm families, they continue to pose a considerable threat to the health of the national sheep flock and goat herd. Positive cases of scrapie can span the provinces and affect a large number of producers and animals.   In the absence of any form of disease treatment, scrapie needs to be controlled to protect the remainder of the domestic population.  Scrapie investigations truly are regrettable scenarios but it is important that producers become aware of the symptoms of scrapie in the goat herd, the importance of testing, and the responsibility of reporting.

As more information becomes available, Ontario Goat will share with the industry.

In the absence of adopting specific measures to minimize the risk of scrapie on their farm, goat producers are encouraged to implement general good management and biosecurity practices such as:

·         individual animal identification;

  • record keeping;
  • prompt isolation of sick animals;
  • separation of females giving birth;
  • increased cleanliness of birthing environment;
  • disinfection of equipment between animals; and
  • single use needles for injections.

For more information about scrapie please go to:


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