On June 21, a positive classical scrapie result was confirmed by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) laboratory on a sheep from a farm in central Alberta. The sheep was tested due to clinical signs consistent with scrapie. As the scrapie positive sheep lived on multiple premises, a second flock in Alberta has been quarantined and disease control procedures required for classical scrapie have been implemented for both flocks.
On July 26, the CFIA released the following details regarding the ongoing investigation:
- The causes are still being determined. This is part of the ongoing investigation and tracing work which is continuing and which could identify the source of the disease on the premises that had the positive animal.
- At this point in the investigation there is one positive animal.
- CFIA has completed genotyping on the first premises and identified 11 animals as being susceptible to scrapie. Those 11 mature sheep were humanely destroyed on-farm as were 24 lambs under nine months of age. This humane destruction is required under the scrapie program. Post mortem testing is underway for the 11 scrapie susceptible animals over 12 months of age.
- CFIA has also completed genotype testing on the second premises where the positive animal had lived. Twenty-eight animals on that premises have been identified as being susceptible to scrapie. They will be humanely destroyed together with any animals under nine months old on this second premises.
No animals from either premises will enter the food system.
Finding low levels of scrapie in Canada is not unexpected.
ALP remains in communication with CFIA officials and any new information resulting from the investigation will be provided as soon as it is made available.
For information on what happens on a premises that has been found to be infected with scrapie, please visit the CFIA’s website at https://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/scrapie/if-your-animals-may-be-infected/eng/1355963623752/1355963789207.
Details on sheep genetics and scrapie may be found on the CFIA’s website at https://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/scrapie/sheep-genetics-and-scrapie/eng/1356066354790/1356066497693
Under the Health of Animals Act, producers are compensated for any animals ordered destroyed. For compensation amounts for sheep please visit https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2000-233/page-2.html