August 1, 2003
Canadian Government Slaughtering Sheep Due to Scrapie
The Canadian federal government continues to slaughter thousands of sheep in eastern Quebec in an attempt to control the spread of scrapie.
Since 1998, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ordered the slaughter of 21,992 Quebec sheep, including 1,048 so far this year. The 1998 outbreak of scrapie led to the slaughter of 8,000 sheep in eastern Quebec. Thousands of sheep have since been slaughtered each year as new cases have emerged.
Jean-Francois Samray of the Quebec Sheep Federation said the new cases are all connected to the 1998 outbreak. Sheep with scrapie can take up to five years to show symptoms.
In 2004, Canadian sheep producers will be required to permanently tag and trace all sheep and goats born and sold in Canada.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, (304) 647-9981