CNGF has contacted CFIA’s Senior Veterinary Office, the Senior Staff Veterinarian of the Domestic Disease Control Section and the Director General of the Animal Health Directorate regarding the fact that Option 2C for the import of male small ruminants from any premises in the US was under review and has been put on hold until further notice (Requirements for Small Ruminants Imported From the United States for Breeding, Domestic or Captive Purposes-TAHD-DSAT-IE-2007-5-6).
We expressed our concern that this decision was made without adequate industry consultation and requested that they outline the reasoning behind the suspension of Option 2C, an approximate timeline for the review process and alternative options for producers.
In addition, we reminded them that several rarer breeds of goats in Canada rely on the importation of new genetics, particularly from the United States, where, for endangered breeds like Angora and Oberhasli, very few breeders are on the American Scrapie program. Canadian producers have invested in enrollment in the Scrapie program in Canada in order to import these genetics to keep the breeds alive, but despite significant expense and effort are becoming discouraged with the stringent rules in place limiting which animals they can import.
In response, CFIA has assured CNGF that they value and welcome input and will include CNGF in discussions during the policy review, which they hope to have completed within the next 3 months.
Option 2c was only ever supposed to be a temporary measure and its intention was to give enough time for more herds (including rare breeds) in the US to enroll on the Scrapie Flock Certification Program so that Canadian importers could import animals of known and negligible risk for Scrapie. However, while this option was still available a number of non-compliances were brought to CFIA’s attention. As part of their protecting the health of the national small ruminant herd, it was necessary to put Option 2c on hold.
In the upcoming weeks CFIA will be providing more information and seeking more input through their policy review. Individual producers should share their concerns with their association’s representative on the CNGF board (http://cangoats.com/directors/) so they can be brought forward in a cohesive manner during these discussions with CFIA.