|Sheep Vegetation Management Guidelines
(Revised February, 1998)
The acceptance of sheep for managing vegetation on designated right-of-ways and forest sites is contingent on the assurance to maintain the health of both sheep and wildlife.
The attached Sheep Health Protocol has been developed by the Animal Industry Branch, Ministry of Agriculture and Foods (MAF) in consultation with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD), BC Ministries of Forests (MOF) and Environment, Lands, and Parks (MELP), and with the cooperation of the BC Sheep Federation, the Alberta Sheep and Wool Commission, and the BC and Alberta Veterinary Medical Associations.
The protocol is intended to maximize the health of sheep and minimize the risks of disease to participating flocks and wildlife, predation, and welfare concerns. Only sheep meeting the criteria set out in the Sheep Health Protocol will be permitted on these areas. A system of "on-farm" inspections will ensure that animals intended for these areas meet these standards.
On-Farm Sheep Health Certification
MAF (Dr. H. Lange, 1-800-661-9903 or 604-556-3018) with the assistance of AAFRD (Dr. R. Fenton, 403-422-4844) will administer the Sheep Health Certification program. All inspecting veterinarians require MAF or AAFRD approval prior to certifying sheep destined to BC vegetation management sites. Certificates, individual sheep identification records, paint brands and branding paint will be provided to the authorized veterinarians, who will then become responsible for their care.
All sheep must be inspected on the farm of origin and certified by an inspection team according to the current Sheep Health Protocol, within 30 days of the departure date. If smaller producers are moving sheep to a shared location for the flock certification, the inspecting veterinarian must ensure that all sheep on the original farm have been examined for Sheep Footrot (SFR) and other clinical disease that would result in the entire flock being denied certification.
The "on-farm" inspection team must include a minimum of a veterinarian (authorized by MAF or AAFRD to inspect and certify sheep under this program) and the contractor or contractor's representative. Organizing inspection dates and visits will be the responsibility of the contractor and producer.
It is the producers/owners responsibility to ensure and provide adequate proof that all procedures identified in the Sheep Health Protocol have been completed. The producer/owner must sign the declaration that the "sheep have been prepared according to the current Sheep Health Protocol requirements". It is the producers responsibility to ensure that all certified sheep maintain at least a body condition score of two (2) prior to departure to the grazing site.
It is the contractors responsibility to ensure that the type and numbers of sheep are compatible with the quality and quantity of palatable vegetation, geographic diversity and extremes in weather conditions of the site. It is the contractors responsibility to care for all sheep on the project site. The contractor or the contractor's agent must sign a declaration of "suitability to site" at the time of inspection.
All certificates must be signed by the owner, contractor or contractors agent and authorized veterinarian upon completion.
Only properly completed certificates will be accepted.
A legible copy of the completed Health Certificate and Individual Sheep Identification Record must be sent to Dr. H. Lange, Animal Industry Branch, 1767 Angus Campbell Road, Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3 or faxed to 604-556-3010, by the authorized veterinarian upon completion of the inspection.
One (1) legible copy of the Health Certificate, Individual Sheep Identification Record and Livestock Manifest must accompany the sheep to the project area, and be retained on the site. A copy of the Livestock Manifest(s) must accompany all sheep to the site. The contract officer in charge is required to send a copy of the manifest to Dr. H. Lange, Animal Industry Branch, 1767 Angus Campbell Road, Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3 or fax to 604-556-3010, within one week of the sheep arriving on the site.
Sheep Health Protocol (On-farm certification)
2.0 Sheep Footrot (SFR)
3.0 Hoof Care
4.0 Sheep with abscesses
5.0 Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA)
6.0 Clostridial Diseases
All sheep must have received two initial Clostridial vaccinations for Pulpy Kidney (CI. perfringens type D) and Tetanus (CI. tetani) according to the manufacturers recommendations, followed thereafter by an annual vaccination four weeks prior to lambing.
If evidence of clinical parasitism is present then 5% of the flock, including the animals with clinical signs of internal parasites, should be sampled.
8.0 Body Condition Score
All sheep must have a minimum body condition score of two (2) (see attachment regarding Body Condition scoring).
10. Contagious Ecthyma (ORF, Sore-Mouth)
Flocks containing sheep with active ORF lesions must not be sent out to vegetation management sites. The certification will be delayed until the ORF outbreak is resolved. The producer must inform the contractor and inspection veterinarian if an ORF outbreak has taken place in the flock within the past four months.
11. Physical Condition
14. Bluetongue Requirements
Sheep from the Okanagan Valley must meet Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) guidelines from Bluetongue. Please contact your district CFIA office.
Transportation of sheep must be in compliance with the CFIA transportation regulation of the Health of Animals Act.
SHEEP GRAZING PREPARATION SCHEDULE
(Original by Princes Veterinary Centres, Raymond, AB
and Dr. R. Fenton, Alberta Agriculture)
This schedule is intended to serve as a guide to producers, contractors and authorized veterinarians. Planning sheep health management procedures several weeks in advance improves the likelihood of meeting certification requirements on the inspection visit.
Eight Weeks Prior To Certification:
Four Weeks Prior to Certification:
Tags are the responsibility of the owner;
Tags should be in place early to allow proper healing; remove extra ear-tags (a maximum of two ear-tags per ear); and,
Sheep flocks from the Okanagan Valley must meet the Canadian Food Inspection Agency guidelines for Blue Tongue. Currently, all sheep from this area must be identified with Canadian Food Inspection Agency ear-tags.
Two Weeks Prior to Certification:
Inspection Visit (within 30 days prior to departure)
m) other conditions as determined by the contractor and veterinarian that would result in the sheep being unfit for the destined site.
In the case of vaccinations that require two boosters, between 2 and 4 weeks apart, the departure date will be contingent on the animals having enough time to respond to the vaccine before departure.
The veterinarian will record the earliest possible departure date on the health certificate.
After all mandatory procedures are completed, those sheep that were certified must:
The contractor or contractors agent, veterinarian and owner must sign the personal declarations on the certificate.
The owner will receive a completed copy of the BC Sheep Health Certificate and Individual Sheep Identification Record.
One (1) copy of the completed BC Health Certificate and Individual Sheep Identification Record will be sent to the Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford, BC by the authorized inspecting veterinarian within one week of certification.
Three Weeks Pre-departure
Two Weeks Pre-departure
2. Deadline for second external parasite treatment.
One Week Pre-departure
BC Health Certificate,
Individual Sheep Identification Record
Livestock Transportation Manifest
FACILITIES REQUIRED FOR INSPECTION AND FOOT-SOAKING
Pens, a race for restraining sheep, a sorting gate, a foot-bath and isolation space will be required. A smaller pen is required adjacent to a large holding corral. From this inspection pen, selected sheep will enter the race. Here they will be individually examined and the final selection made.
Foot-bath design will depend to a large extent on the number of sheep to be foot-soaked. The foot-bath should have the holding capacity for 10% of the flock at one time. Advice is available from the Animal Health Branch, Abbotsford.
The required foot-soak solution is 20% zinc sulfate with a wetting agent (liquid laundry detergent) added. Zinc sulfate monohydrate powder is available from feed supply stores, veterinary clinics and possibly through the contractor.
A 20% solution:
= 2 pounds in 1 imperial gallon of water
= 2 kg powder in 10 litres of water
To calculate water capacity: length x width x water depth = gallons of solution
280 cu. Inches/imperial gallon
Use inside measurements:
For example, a foot-bath 16 feet long (189 inches) by 4 feet wide (45 inches) holding water 3 inches deep, has a capacity of (189 x 45 x 3)/280 = 91 gallons (409 liters).
This foot-bath would require 180 lb. of zinc sulfate. Add liquid laundry detergent to the foot bath at one (1) cup (250 ml) to 30 gallons (135 liters) of solution or in this example 3 cups. This acts as a wetting agent, enabling the solution to adhere and penetrate into the hooves.
ON-SITE HEALTH PROTOCOL
The acceptance of sheep for managing vegetation on designated right-of-ways and forest sites is contingent on the assurance of maintaining the health of both sheep and wildlife.
Sheep health and welfare
It is the sheep contractors responsibility to ensure that the sheep are provided with adequate care, nutrition (feed, water, and mineral supplementation) and shelter.
Sheep Footrot (SFR)
Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA)
Samples are to be submitted to the.MAF, Animal Health Branch. It is important to submit a brief history (owner, animal number, location of abscess, etc.) with the sample and request specifically for C. ovis or C. pseudotuberculosis examination.
Sheep identified as CLA positive must be removed from the site and identified in the Sheep Health and Welfare Form.
If sheep are showing clinical signs of gastrointestinal parasite infestation the contractor should take the appropriate samples to confirm the situation. Once confirmed, the contractor must treat the condition with one of the four anthelmintics listed below.
Results, including the producers name, must be forwarded to the MAF designated Veterinarian.
Sheep that have clinical evidence of external parasites must be treated with an effective product. This requires two treatments, 17-20 days a part. The name of the owners of the infected sheep must be forwarded to the MAF designated Veterinarian.
Body Condition Score
All sheep with a body condition score of less than two (2) must be provided with supplemental feed. If the animals do not improve within two weeks they must be either removed from the grazing site or slaughtered.
Lambs with a body weight of less than 22 kg. must be either removed from the grazing site or slaughtered.
Contagious Ecthyma (ORF, sore-mouth)
Animals on the site with ORF must be isolated to quarantine pens. Adequate grain, good quality forage, water and shelter must be provided. If the above requirements are not provided or if the animals continue to lose body condition, they must be removed from the site.
Lambing or abortions on the site
Ewes that lamb or abort on the project site must be confined in a separate pen within 24 hours of aborting or lambing. The placenta and fetal tissue must be contained and disposed of within 24 hours. The ewe(s), including their lamb(s), which have lambed or aborted must be removed from the site within seven days.
Transportation of livestock
All sheep must be transported according to the requirements set by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (see attached guidelines).
Guardian and herding dogs
It is recommended that:
all dogs used on project areas have a current vaccination certificate for Parvovirus, Distemper (both annual) and Rabies (3 year); and,
all dogs be treated with an effective tapeworm anthelmintic within two weeks prior to being used on the project site and within two weeks before returning home from the project area.
If raw meat or offal is used as dog food, it is mandatory that all dogs be treated with an effective tapeworm anthelmintic within two weeks prior to being used on the project site and within two weeks before returning home from the project area.
A veterinarian authorized by MAF, may arrange an on-site inspection with the contractor. This inspection may be conducted at anytime during the grazing season. The contractor must supply the following:
adequate handling facilities;
adequate personnel to assist in the inspection; and,
all required documentation (Livestock Manifests, Sheep Health Certificates, Individual Sheep Identification Records and Operation Forms must be present at the site and available for review at the time of the inspection).
Reports and questions relating to Sheep Health or Sheep Health Certification should be sent to:
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