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CFIA wants feedback on scrapie surveillance

Canada’s producers of goats and sheep are being asked for their feedback on the national scrapie surveillance program.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Friday asked those producers to take part in an online survey on the program.

Under the surveillance program, CFIA asks that producers report all sheep and goats aged 12 months and older that die on their farm or exhibit unexplained weight loss, problems standing or walking, or other changes in behaviour.

Scrapie is a disease of the central nervous system in sheep and goats and has been a reportable livestock disease in Canada since 1945.

The disease is considered a member of the TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) family, which includes BSE in cattle, chronic wasting disease in elk and deer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. There is no scientific evidence that scrapie can affect people.

Producers are asked call their local CFIA office to report affected animals and make arrangements to have samples taken for testing.

CFIA noted it covers the costs of testing samples under the scrapie surveillance program. Sheep and goat producers are eligible for compensation for any live animals ordered destroyed by CFIA as a result of scrapie findings.

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