The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is urging sheep and goat producers to submit suspicious cases for scrapie testing as the number of confirmed cases in Canada is up to a level not seen since 2003.
Eleven sheep flocks were confirmed to have seen cases of the reportable disease as of Nov. 30, up from six in all of 2009.
Of the 11, six were in flocks in Quebec, two in Alberta, two in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan. Of those, the Saskatchewan case and one in Ontario were found to be “atypical” scrapie.
CFIA said it would like to test any mature animals (12 months and older) that die on the farm or show unexplained weight loss, problems standing or walking, or changes in behaviour.
Producers can call the CFIA at 800-442-2342 to arrange to have a sample taken for testing. The agency noted it covers the costs of testing samples under the program, and that producers could also be eligible for compensation for animals ordered destroyed due to a scrapie diagnosis.