Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Scrapie case confirmed in eastern Ontario

By Ian Elliott
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed on April 27 that one animal in a quarantined flock of sheep in eastern Ontario had the fatal disease scrapie. The animal recently died on the farm.
CFIA said the fatal disease of sheep and goats poses no risk to human health, but Canada aims to eradicate the disease, which poses a serious risk to sheep.

"The farm was placed under quarantine because a sheep that originated from the farm had previously tested positive for scrapie," CFIA said in a press statement. "In early April, 31 sheep were removed from the farm in violation of the quarantine order. The Ontario Provincial Police is leading the investigation into the missing sheep."

The federal agency warned that the missing sheep from the quarantined farm pose "a serious risk for scrapie and could spread the disease to other sheep and goats."

Farms that receive the sheep will be subject to federal quarantine and regulatory action.
"Quarantine breaches put the livestock industry and the economy at risk. Any person who breaches quarantine may be subject to criminal prosecution under the Health of Animals Act," CFIA warned.

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