Requirements for small ruminants imported from the United States for breeding, domestic or captive purposes
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A modified Option 2c will be available until December 31, 2022. See details under the section for option 2c.
Clarification on the requirements for an animal that was born after it's mother was tested.
Clarification to the Permanent Identification System
- Small ruminants
- Members of the Family Bovidae; Subfamily Caprinae; Genus Ovis and Capra. In general, the term "small ruminants" applies to sheep and goats and their exotic relatives (of the genus Ovis and Capra).
On this page
- General import notes
- Requirements for scrapie
- Test requirements
- General certification requirements – Zoosanitary certificate for U.S. origin small ruminants
- Permanent identification system
- Border procedures
General import notes
- An import permit is required for any category of small ruminant and must be issued prior to the arrival of animals at a port of entry
Where applicable, provide your national identification and traceability database account number as part of the application for the import permit.
For additional information on the application process, see Applying to import live animals, semen, embryos, animal products and by-products.
- Individual identification traceable to flock or herd of origin is required for all small ruminants to be imported
Requirements for scrapie
Option for females
1. Female small ruminants for breeding, domestic or captive purposes can be imported onto any premises in Canada only if they originate from a premises enrolled in the United States Department of Agriculture Scrapie Flock Certification Program (USDA SFCP) that is determined to be a "negligible risk premises" of the following export categoriesFootnote 4:
- export monitored for a minimum of 5 years
- export certified
Female small ruminants must be certified as originating from the following:
Negligible risk premises
A negligible risk premises is defined as a premises that has maintained the flock or herd of origin and has complied with the following conditions for at least 5 years (export monitored for a minimum of 5 years or export certified):
- all small ruminants have been permanently identified, and records were maintained to enable traceback to their premises of birth
- movements of small ruminants in and out of the premises are documented, and the records are maintained
- introductions and movement of live animals, embryos and semen are allowed only in accordance with the requirements of the Export Category of the USDA SFCP
- a veterinarian who is authorized by the Veterinary Administration inspect the small ruminants on the premises and audits the records at least once per year
- the premises is not currently subject to any scrapie control or eradication action and does not contain high-risk animals, as defined by the USDA Veterinary Services National Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP) – PDF (709 kb)
- female small ruminants on the premises have no direct contact with female small ruminants from premises of a lower status
- all small ruminants over 18 months of age on the premises that have died or been killed for reasons, other than routine slaughter, have had samples collected and sent to a USDA-approved laboratory for scrapie testing and for all other known transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) strains:
- sampling must include all fallen stock (as required by the Export Category of the USDA SFCP) and animals sent for emergency slaughter
- as other exceptions for testing do exist, the expectation is that testing on deadstock should be completed as required by the USDA SFCP
- in addition, the flock or herd of origin must be certified as meeting all other sampling requirements as required by the USDA SFCP
Options for males
2 a) Male small ruminants may be imported to any premises in Canada provided that they have acquired a minimum of 5 years of status in accordance with the Export Category of the USDA SFCP, which is equivalent to a female small ruminant originating from a negligible risk premises (export monitored for a minimum of 5 years or export certified)
2 b) Male sheep (rams) may be imported to any premises in Canada from any flock in the USA if they have undergone genotype testing and have been determined to be of the codon 136AA 171RR or 136AA 171QR genotype
- This testing must be completed in a laboratory that is approved by the USDA to perform genotype testing, and the results must be indicated on the accompanying export health certificate
- Documentation confirming the genotype of the male(s) to be exported must be submitted when applying for an import permit
2 c) Modified option 2c available until December 31, 2022
Male small ruminants may be imported from any premises in the United States provided that the following criteria are met:
- the import permit application must be submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) before December 31, 2022
- The validity period of the import permit it no more than 3 months
- Therefore, male small ruminants would have to be imported into Canada no later than March 31, 2023.
the importing premises in Canada must have been enrolled in the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) for a minimum of 1 year and completed at least 1 annual inventory no later than December 31, 2022
for premises that do not contain any small ruminants, the premises must have been enrolled in the SFCP no later than December 31, 2021
The proof of enrollment in the SFCP as described above must be submitted at the time of the import permit application.
- the premises must continue to be enrolled in the SFCP as long as the imported males small ruminants are alive
- the imported males must:
- in Canada, the imported males must:
- be maintained separate from the female animals except during breeding season
- be maintained separate from lambs or kids at all times; and
- not be maintained in confined lambing/kidding facilities
This requirement for separation must be confirmed by the local CFIA district office prior to the issuance of the import permit.
- the imported males can never leave the importing premises, unless for either hand-breeding or semen collection, as per the National Standards for the SFCP, and with a written CFIA authorization
- at the time of their death, the CFIA must be notified and the imported males must be sampled and proof of testing for scrapie must be provided.
- the testing must be performed by a CFIA-approved TSE network laboratory or by the CFIA laboratory directly.
Flocks and/or herds that have imported males that do not follow through with their obligations will be identified to the CFIA, and additional measures and/or enforcement actions, as determined by the CFIA based on the specifics of the animals in question (and which may include an order for destruction), will be applied.
Note: the animals being presented for importation must not come into contact with any animals, products, or equipment of lesser or unknown health status during the period between required testing and export to Canada. In addition, no new animals shall be added to the group intended for export, unless these animals have sanitary guarantees similar to those of the rest of the group.
No test requirements
Note: an animal that was born after its mother was tested is not required to meet the test requirements of the diseases mentioned below if the animal is imported into Canada at the same time as its mother. An animal that was born after its mother was tested, must be identified with permanent identification and recorded on the health certificate of its mother.
Brucellosis (B. abortus)
The animals must test negative for brucellosis, using the fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) or other test approvedFootnote 3 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for this purpose, conducted within 30 days of importation. The tests must be performed in a laboratory that is approved to perform the test by the official veterinary service of the country of export. The results of the brucellosis test (including the type of test performed) must be shown on the required health certificate for the animal to be imported.
Any animal with a non-negative result is ineligible for export to Canada.
An epidemiological investigation must be done, in addition to ancillary testing, to ensure disease exposure has not occurred.
The tuberculosis test is the caudal fold tuberculin test with a reading of results at 72 hours as "No Reaction," conducted within 60 days of importation. The results of the tuberculin test (including the date of test reading) must be shown on the required health certificate for the animal to be imported.
The caudal fold tuberculin test is to be conducted with a dose rate of 0.1 mL of Canadian bovine purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin – or product of equivalent potency approved by the CFIA – injected intradermally at the caudal fold site, and the injection site identified with a permanent ink marker, and the thickness of the skin recorded with caliper. The skin thickness should be observed and measured 72 hours post injection.
A reactor is any animal in which there is any visible or palpable disturbance at the site of injection.
Any reaction to the caudal fold test renders the reacting animal ineligible for export to Canada. To determine the eligibility of the remainder of the shipment, carry out an epidemiological investigation and ancillary testing that is acceptable to the CFIA (that is, the comparative cervical tuberculin [CCT] test, performed at least 60 days following the most recent tuberculin injection) on reactor animals.
Any animal that is a reactor to ancillary testing to the intradermal test is to be removed from the group of animals intended for export, and the entire testing protocol must begin again for the remainder of the group. A minimum interval of 60 days is always required between any tuberculin test performed in the subfamily Caprinae.
Bluetongue – Sheep and goats (State of Florida only)
Animals imported from Florida require a negative test for bluetongue, using the Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (cELISA) test methodology within 30 days prior to import.
In the case of a positive cELISA result, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test must be performed, with negative results for virus within 30 days of importation in order for the animal to be eligible for entry into Canada.
If a cELISA test positive animal is also positive on the PCR test, it is ineligible for export to Canada and must be removed from the group. The remainder of the shipment must be re-tested with negative results, using cELISA at least 28 days after the removal of the reactor animal.
It is suggested that animals being sampled have a serum sample and a blood sample drawn at the same time and that these be sent to the lab with the request that, if the cELISA test is positive, a PCR test should follow.
General certification requirements – Zoosanitary certificate for U.S. origin small ruminants
- Small ruminants may be imported into Canada from the U.S., if the animal is accompanied by a certificate of an official veterinarian of the U.S. or a certificate of a veterinarian authorized by the USDA, and endorsed by an official veterinarian of the U.S., clearly identifying the animal and showing the following:
- the small ruminant and its flock or herd of origin were inspected by a veterinarian within 30 days preceding the date of importation and were found to be free from communicable disease; and
- the animal was, to the best of the knowledge and belief of a veterinarian, not exposed to any communicable disease within 60 days preceding the date of the inspection
- The feeding to small ruminants of meat and bone meal or greaves of ruminant origin has been banned since 1997, and this prohibition is strictly enforced
- The small ruminant is identified by a permanent identification system, enabling traceback to its flock or herd of origin
- The small ruminant has in its right ear – or, if there is insufficient ear, in its inner right flank or tail web – a legible permanent tattoo that shows the letters "USA," at least 1 centimetre in height
The CFIA import permit number must be specified on the health certificate.
Permanent identification system
This is defined as one of the following:
- a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) compliant "840" radio frequency "RFID" eartag [specifically - electronic ear tags (either half-duplex or full-duplex frequency) with an official identification number following the ISO 11784 standard, which includes the code of the country where the indicator was issued following the ISO 3166-1 numeric standard], which is referred to as "equivalent tags", or
- an approved or pre-approved Canadian "124" tag, or
- an official USDA ear tag, or
- a tamper-resistant ear tag approved by USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for use in the USDA SFCP, or
- a unique alphanumeric ear tattoo (which, in the case of goats with insufficient ear space, may appear in the inner right flank or tail web), or
- electronic identification, provided a reader that is satisfactory in determining the elements accompanies the animal into Canada, and
For imported small ruminants that are required by section 189 of the Health of Animals Regulations to have an approved tag applied under the national Livestock Identification and Traceability Program, the importer must report the mandatory information to the responsible administrator, as required and within the time period specified. In those cases in which the animal does not already bear an approved 124 tag or an equivalent 840 tag at the time of import, the cross-referencing between the number on the indicator each animal was imported with and the number on the approved 124 tag applied upon arrival must be reported to the CFIA office where the importation occurred. Imported animals that are identified with U.S. equivalent 840 tags do not have to be re-tagged with an approved 124 tag upon arrival in Canada. However, the number on the equivalent 840 tag must still be reported as imported to the responsible administrator.
Documentation for importation must be presented to a CFIA veterinary inspector at the first point of entry. The shipment of animals must be presented to a CFIA veterinary inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act at the first point of entry. There must be prior arrangements made to ensure the provision of inspection at the appropriate time.
For option 2 c) only
Subsequent to presentation for inspection at the first port of entry, the animals described on this permit must proceed directly, and under license, from the port of entry to the premises, previously approved by an inspector designated under the Health of Animals Act and indicated on this permit.
An exemption from these requirements for small ruminants will be considered on a case-by-case basis, considering that the intended use for animals imported is medical, for scientific research, or for zoological collections.
- Date modified: