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Chapter 10 - Artificial insemination
10.4 Ovine

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This module describes the requirements for export eligible ovine semen for domestic use and owner's use only, as well as the sire reference program entry requirements.


Export eligible semen

Requirements for rams intended for entry into a semen collection centre to produce semen for export

The flock of origin must not be subject to any quarantine and must be confirmed free from scrapie, pulmonary adenomatosis, bluetongue, and other communicable diseases. To the best of the veterinarian's knowledge and belief:

  1. during the previous three years, pulmonary adenomatosis must not have been diagnosed in the flock of origin
  2. during the previous five years, scrapie must not have been diagnosed in the flock of origin or in the flock in which the donor ram was born (if different from the flock of origin)
  3. the donor ram must not be the progeny of a sire or dam affected by scrapie

The animals must be subject to the following tests with negative results, unless otherwise specified, within the 60 days before their entry into the isolation section of the centre:

  1. Brucellosis (B. melitensis), fluorescence polarization assay (FPA), or test prescribed by WOAH for international trade
  2. Ovine epididymitis (B. ovis), for sheep only: CF test
  3. Leptospirosis – (serum) MAT – Serotypes L. pomona, and L. sejroe – Rams with a test result of 1:100 or 1:200 must be retested after a minimum interval of 14 days and obtain a stable titre to be considered negative and eligible for entry into the isolation facility of the centre.
  4. Johne's disease – (serum) AGID
  5. Bluetongue – (serum) c-ELISA
  6. Maedi Visna – (serum) ELISA

A CFIA/ACIA 1634 Certificate of Health for Entry into a Semen Production Centre must accompany the animal to the isolation facility of the centre. (Refer to paragraph 11 in Module 10.1 for distribution details.)

Domestic use semen

Eligibility requirements for rams intended for entry into a semen collection centre to produce semen for distribution in Canada

Ovine semen for distribution in Canada may be collected from qualified animals on farm in an approved isolation area of the farm.

Approval of on farm isolation area

The on farm isolation area where donor rams / teasers are kept should ideally in a physically separate building or room from than the rest of the flock. This can also be an outdoor area of a paddock provided proper shelter is provided. If a separate building or room is not available, a minimum there can be no nose to nose contact between the donor rams / teasers and other animals and appropriate husbandry practices should be in place to prevent disease transmission between animals of lesser status. Once approved, the accredited veterinarian completes the Annex 2 "Approval of the Isolation Area" to provide to the Center. A copy of Annex 2 is available from your local CFIA District Office.

Animal and flock eligibility

The flock/herd of origin must meet the following requirements:

Qualification of donor animals / teasers:

Animals must be identified with an approved indicator prior to inspection and testing. Animals are examined and confirmed to be healthy and free of infectious diseases (including bluetongue and scrapie) and hereditary defects (donor animals only). Animals must test negative on the following tests prior to being placed in the isolation area:

If there are no animals currently present in the approved isolation area, the animals may be placed there prior to the return of test results. Any animal that has a non-negative result must be removed from the isolation area by the accredited veterinarian before semen collection can begin. If there are current residents of the isolation area, then new animals tested should be moved to a separate area of isolation (approved by the AV based on the criteria listed above) prior to test results being available and moving to the approved isolation area. Animals may be tested on another farm and in these cases, the same considerations can be given as to when these animals can enter the approved isolation area.

The Certificate of Health for Entry into a Pre-Entry Isolation Facility of a Semen Production Centre (Form 1634) signed by the accredited veterinarian responsible for approving the isolation and performing the testing must be provided to the centre veterinarian. It must confirm eligibility of the flock(s) of origin and that the donor animals and teasers maintained in the isolation area were tested for the diseases listed with negative results. (Refer to paragraph 11 of Section 10.1 for distribution.)

Sire reference programs

The sire reference program must by approved and sanctioned by the sheep breed association or producer group under whose auspices the semen is collected and distributed. The health conditions under which the semen is collected must be fully communicated to all producers who receive semen for the purpose of sire evaluation.

All rams presented for entry in the approved isolation facility must receive an injection of dihydrostreptomycin (25 mg per kg of body weight) or an alternate antibiotic at the dosage recommended by the manufacturer, as a preventive measure against leptospirosis.

The donor animals or teasers should be placed in an isolation facility approved by the district veterinarian and must not be exposed to any infection to which they are susceptible from the date of pre-collection health testing until the collection program is completed.

After 30 days of isolation, the rams must be subject to the following tests with negative results:

  1. Brucellosis – (serum) B. ovis, CF
  2. Maedi Visna – (serum) ELISA

A "Permit to collect semen" issued by the CFIA area office, must be issued before the semen is collected and distributed. A list of the producers participating in the "Sire Reference Program" should be presented to the district veterinarian.

Semen collection and distribution may commence immediately after the test results are available, and complete records of the producers receiving the semen must be maintained.

Owner's Use Only

Owner's use only semen is intended for use by owners of donor animals in their own herd. Owner's use caprine semen must only be collected and processed by a person or organization holding a Permit to collect and process animal semen for owner use only. This permit is issued by the National Coordinator of the Artificial Insemination program. There is no requirement to be an accredited veterinarian to obtain this permit. Further information may be obtained from the district office.

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