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WASHINGTON, December 2, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published a final rule updating its import regulations for sheep, goats and their products, such as meat. This rule removes remaining bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) import restrictions on sheep, goats and their products, and aligns the regulations with the current scientific understanding of BSE.
BSE is a fatal brain disease that is part of a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other TSE diseases that can affect animals include scrapie in sheep and goats and chronic wasting disease in deer, elk and moose. When APHIS originally established BSE-related import restrictions, the potential risk of species other than cattle, including sheep and goats, was unknown. However, since BSE was first identified, scientists have learned much more about how BSE works, and their extensive research shows that sheep and goats pose a minimal risk of spreading BSE.
While BSE-related restrictions are no longer needed, APHIS is updating its scrapie requirements for importing live sheep and goats and their germplasm to continue to protect the U.S. herd. Any live sheep or goat not transported directly to slaughter, or to a designated feedlot and then to slaughter, must originate from a scrapie-free country or flock with a herd certification program equivalent to the U.S. Scrapie Flock Certification Program.
APHIS will also allow on a case-by-case basis the importation of certain wild, zoo or other non-bovine ruminant species. The Agency will evaluate the disease risk of each animal and the receiving entity’s ability to manage the risks before deciding whether to issue an import permit allowing the animal entry into the country.
APHIS issued a proposed rule outlining these changes in September 2016. This proposal was based on a thorough review of relevant scientific literature, international guidelines, and a comprehensive evaluation. After considering all comments received on the proposed rule, APHIS determined that these changes will continue to guard against TSEs entering the United States, while allowing additional animals and animal products to be imported into this country. View the final rule at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-26302/importation-of-sheep-goats-and-certain-other-ruminants.
The MSA is pleased to partner with the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board to announce that it will be hosting a virtual opportunity for members to participate in the ‘Getting Started in Sheep’ workshop as per the details below:
January 27-29, 2022 facilitated by Gord Schroeder over the Zoom Platform
January 27th – 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
January 28th – 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
January 29th – 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $175/individual or $300/couple + GST Participants will be provided with full course materials in printed form prior to the course dates.
A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a spot. Class size is limited to allow for a good interactive learning experience.
Please call (306) 933-5200 or email email@example.com to register!
Sheep Industry Opportunity
Purchasing your Flock
Flock Health Management
Biosecruity and Why it’s Important
Lamb Production for Profit
Insights into Handing Sheep
Lambing Time Management
Basic Sheep Nutrition
Shearing and Wool
This virtual course will cover the basics of getting started in the sheep industry. It is designed for those who are looking at getting into sheep and those who are already in the business on the beginner level. To allow for a positive learning experience course enrollment is limited.
Presenter Bio: Gord has been heavily involved in the sheep industry for over 35 years, 28 years as a large flock lamb producers and 22 years working as the Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board. He brings a wealth of experience from both the production and industry organizational operations side. Gord’s goal is to share his experience and help individuals get a good start raising sheep.