Monday, September 24, 2007

Canadian Sheep, eh?

Well, first it was Bill Stearman and the Shetlands plus Blue-Faced Leicesters. I think Bill gets a prize for patience in waiting on his "Willow Garden South" flock for so long! Then, it was Linda Wendleboe and the Blue-Faced Leicesters.

I thank both of you for forging ahead and helping us with tips so our Canadian export/import process could go as well as it did!

Over the last 12 days, we drove/sent 9 sheep to British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. For anyone interested in the process - let it be known that the paperwork seems endless, the fees seem endless, and the process actually is do-able. I certainly wouldn't want to do it often - and neither would my vet! - but if you go step by step and don't contradict the "authorities" it can happen. It also helps - a lot! - to have a basic idea of what to expect.

We got word of a new wrinkle in the USDA SFCP program called the "Export Certified" program. We will learn more on our annual SFCP inspection next month, however, I get the impression that "soon" the only flocks that will be able to export sheep to Canada will have to be enrolled in this version of the SFCP. The ominous part is that it includes "head testing" on any sheep over 14 months old that has died of unknown cause. hmmmmmm.... I started thinking of how many that's been in our small flock over the 6 years we've had them and came up with a grand total of ... uno, one, 1. "Head testing" might not be so bad.

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

In my quick read of that document, it sounded like one would have to have a minimum number "head tested" before you could export -- a number that a tiny flock like mine would never reach. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if the answer you get from your state vet doesn't agree with what I may hear from MY state vet. Is the government just dandy?

Franna said...

We'll find out for sure. My reading indicates there is no "minimum" number. I suppose if you don't have any die and there is no evidence of scrapie at the annual inspections, there is a pretty low risk of scrapie in the flock.

Oh, my! The Canadian import stations didn't agree on a couple of points, either.

...just nod and smile, don't speak until you're spoken to, don't volunteer information....
- Franna