Advancing eradication: genetic scrapie resistance in goats

Received from CFIA:

Advancing eradication: genetic scrapie resistance in goats

Scrapie is a prion disease, like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and chronic wasting disease (CWD), that can affect the health of Canada’s goat and sheep population. When this disease is discovered on a goat farm, currently the entire herd must be depopulated. There is no cure or treatment for scrapie. Canada’s last confirmed cases of scrapie occurred in 2019.

Recently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that current research shows the possibility of genetic resistance to scrapie in some goat populations. The CFIA has determined that two genetic variants, called alleles, in certain breeds of goats currently found in Canada could be used as markers for resistance to the disease. The CFIA plans to trial using these genotypes to identify goats within a scrapie-infected herd that may not have to be ordered destroyed. In addition, producers can use private genotype services to test the DNA makeup of their herd. The CFIA is encouraging producers to test their herds to determine if they have these variants.

The CFIA is asking you to help us inform goat producers of this information about possible genetic resistance to scrapie and to encourage them to get any goats 12 months and older that die on their farm, or go to slaughter, to be tested for scrapie via the national scrapie surveillance program. Testing for scrapie helps the CFIA’s disease surveillance program determine where potential outbreaks of scrapie could occur.

The CFIA has spokespeople available for interviews on the important work done by the CFIA on this issue, as well as scrapie in general. You will find background information below.


Notice to industry – Advancing eradication: genetic scrapie resistance in goats

Fact sheet – Scrapie

Contribute to Scrapie Surveillance

Please contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency / Government of Canada
Tel: 613-773-6600

Faire progresser l’éradication : la résistance génétique à la tremblante chez les chèvres

La tremblante est une maladie à prions, comme l’encéphalopathie spongiforme bovine (ESB) et la maladie du dépérissement chronique (MDC), qui peut affecter la santé de la population caprine et ovine du Canada. Lorsque cette maladie est découverte dans une exploitation caprine, il faut présentement procéder au dépeuplement de tout le troupeau. Il n’existe aucun remède ni traitement pour la tremblante du mouton. Les derniers cas confirmés de tremblante du mouton au Canada ont eu lieu en 2019.

Récemment, l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) a annoncé que les recherches actuelles montrent la possibilité d’une résistance génétique à la tremblante dans certaines populations de chèvres. L’ACIA a déterminé que deux variantes génétiques, appelées allèles, dans certaines races de chèvres présentes au Canada pourraient être utilisées comme marqueurs de résistance à la maladie. L’ACIA prévoit tester l’utilisation de ces génotypes pour identifier les chèvres d’un troupeau infecté par la tremblante qui pourraient ne pas devoir être euthanasiées. De plus, les producteurs peuvent utiliser des services privés de génotypage pour tester la composition génétique de leur troupeau. L’ACIA encourage les producteurs à tester leurs troupeaux pour déterminer s’ils présentent ces variantes.

L’ACIA vous demande de l’aider à informer les producteurs de chèvres de cette information sur la résistance génétique possible à la tremblante et de les encourager à faire tester toutes les chèvres de 12 mois et plus qui meurent sur leur ferme ou qui vont à l’abattoir, dans le cadre du programme national de surveillance de la tremblante. Les tests de dépistage de la tremblante aident le programme de surveillance des maladies de l’ACIA à déterminer les endroits où des épidémies potentielles de tremblante pourraient survenir.

Des porte-parole de l’ACIA sont disponibles pour des entrevues sur l’important travail effectué par l’ACIA sur cette question, ainsi que sur la tremblante en général. Vous trouverez des informations ci-dessous.

Ressources :

Avis à l’industrie – Progrès vers l’éradication : résistance génétique à la tremblante chez la chèvre

Fiche de renseignements infocapsule – Tremblante

Participez à la surveillance de la tremblante

Veuillez nous contacter si vous avez des questions. Il nous fera plaisir d’avoir de vos nouvelles.

Relations avec les médias
Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments / Gouvernement du Canada
Tél. : 613-773-6600

Statements from CGS

Statements regarding two current topics.

Tanya McCarthy had two goats DNA tested (dam and daughter). DNA results revealed that the animals did not match. Ms. McCarthy presented the actual two DNA results to CGS and CGS immediately started an investigation.  The breeder (Jack Kent) explained the situation of two dams mixing up this one kid after birth. CGS requested that he send in a DNA sample of the other dam. The DNA test results came back as a match of dam and daughter. The pedigrees for Potting Shed Golden Hops and her one progeny have been corrected.

At this point no other DNA evidence has been presented to CGS.

The situation of the three bucks co-owned by Tanya McCarthy and Jack Kent and two bucks owned by Jack Kent  is a civil disagreement between the two parties and has been resolved between them and their legal representatives.  As it only involved transfers of ownership and service certificates to cover animals bred by members of the McCarthy family, it in no way affects the pedigrees of any animals.

Report of May 21st CGS Board Meeting

The latest CGS Board meeting was held on the evening of Friday, May 21st.

Participating were:

President Sandy Howell; Callum McLeod; Ed Cavanagh; Susan Frazer; Annie Steeles and Russell Gammon  Secretary-Manager.

Regrets: Catherine Lord; Karen Cavanagh.

In terms of finances the Board received a report that, at meeting time we had $10,000 in investments ( as of the week of May 17th); just over $8,000 in our savings account and $6700 in our chequing account. This would place CGS financial assets at over $24,700 at the time of the meeting. 

The association will be following up on a small number of accounts receivable.


CGS has been invited to partake in a summer webinar series hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph’s Center for the Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL).

CGS has agreed to be part of this series with a presentation. We have been asked to address the topic of conformation evaluation. 

In addition our working group of Adam Scanlan,  Ed Cavanagh and Callum McLeod have begun work on a video or videos on judging and the related  evaluation of conformation and a refresher course for CGS licensed judges. The presentation will be available to everyone.

The Board will be again canvassed for input on what day of the week and time of day work best for the majority to maximize participation in meetings.

A brief presentation was made on plans to bid to host the 2026 International Goat Conference in Alberta.

CGS will investigate the use of the G prefix for registration numbers for Lamancha goats upon receipt of examples where use is questioned based on generations of recorded ancestors. 

Director elections are coming up in Alberta, Ontario ( 2 positions) and the Maritimes. Deadline for nominations is June 30. A nomination form will be available in the INFO AND LINKS section of the CGS website at

The Board was updated on progress of an initiative with Heritage Livestock Canada (HLC). The project involves testing 50 head per breed to arrive at a measure of genetic diversity in that breed. HLC is seeking coordinators for each breed to coordinate collection of samples and forward them to the designated lab for testing.

Board members Sandy Howell and Callum McLeod have offered their services as a breed coordinator.

The CGS Board has decided that the CGS Facebook page will be used in the same manner as the CGS website in a message board function. Comments may be directed to Board members or the office by email or phone calls or letters.

CGS will be releasing an announcement regarding the results of DNA testing on three animals and subsequent revisions to two pedigrees to the membership.

Further discussions will be held on possible random DNA testing within the Canadian population or DNA testing of males being registered. 

The Board received a report of the latest meeting of a steering committee regarding integrated databases for genetic, pedigree and performance information for small ruminates.  The meeting had been held earlier in the day on May 21st. The steering committee has also created a game plan for next steps.

Board members have supplied copies/samples of their recent breeding records to the office.

The Association will now work on randomized selection a member in each 

Director region for a request for a copy of their breeding records as outlined in CGS by-laws.

CGS will be consulting with CLRC for a quote on adding a breeding date or exposure date range to the registration application process. 

CGS has consulted with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on prospects for the East National Show and The Royal itself. The RAWF has indicated they will have a better handle on their plans for 2021 by early July.

A motion was passed that funds in the Candice Cavanagh Memorial Scholarship Fund for youth be forwarded to the Cavanagh family for management of the program. This will provide an extra level of protection for the funds. 

CGS will continue working with the Animal Registration Officer on proposed by-law amendments that were submitted during the winter. A working group of members invested considerable amounts of time formulating draft amendments that were also reviewed in depth by the Board. 

The Board’s next scheduled meeting will be held in early July 2021.

New opportunities at the National Program Advisory Committee

Dear Stakeholder:

Our government remains committed to open, transparent, and merit-based selection processes for Ministerial appointments that are focused on identifying high-quality candidates who demonstrate Canada’s diversity.

This process will be used to select members for the National Program Advisory Committee. I am writing to you to seek your assistance in promoting this selection process to your network.

To ensure that the National Program Advisory Committee continues to effectively deliver on its mandate, we are looking for diverse candidates from across the country to fill up to 11 Member positions within the organization. The ideal candidates will have experience owning and/or operating a farming enterprise and participate directly or indirectly in both the AgriStability and AgriInvest programs.

I encourage you to inform your members of this opportunity and invite interested candidates to apply at the following website by June 7, 2021.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter that supports our farmers.


Marie-Claude Bibeau, PC, MP

/ / /

Madame, Monsieur,

Notre gouvernement continue d’adhérer au principe de processus de sélection ouverts, transparents et fondés sur le mérite pour que les nominations ministérielles soient axées sur le recrutement de candidats hautement qualifiés et représentatifs de la diversité du Canada.

Le présent processus servira à sélectionner des membres du Comité consultatif national sur les programmes. Je vous écris pour vous demander de nous aider à promouvoir ce processus de sélection auprès de votre réseau.

Pour nous assurer que le Comité consultatif national sur les programmes continue de remplir son mandat efficacement, nous cherchons des candidats/tes diversifiés/es dans toutes les régions du pays pour doter jusqu’à 11 postes de membres au sein de l’organisation. Les candidats idéaux auront une expérience comme propriétaire et/ou dirigeant/e d’une entreprise agricole ainsi que de  participer directement ou indirectement aux programmes Agri-stabilité et Agri-investissement conjointement.

Je vous encourage à faire part de cette occasion d’emploi à vos membres et à inviter les personnes intéressées à poser leur candidature sur le site Web d’ici le7 juin 2021.

Je vous remercie de nous aider à promouvoir cette initiative dans l’intérêt de nos producteurs agricoles.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, C.P., députée

Youth Employment & Skills Program Funding

The Youth Employment and Skills Program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire youth for agricultural jobs. The program offers support for 50% of wages to a maximum of $14,000.

Employers can apply on or after May 5, 2021 for their project to be considered. Projects may start retroactively as early as April 15, 2021.


Attending: Sandy Howell, Susan Frazer, Arnie Steeves, Callum McLeod, Russell Gammon Sec/Man

Regrets: Catherine Lord, Ed Cavanagh, Karen Cavanagh

Meeting by Zoom was called to order by Pres Howell at 8:35 pm.

Moved by Callum, seconded by Arnie that the agenda be approved with three additions, investment of portion of CGS funds, discussion of protein values added to milk awards, clarification of listings on

Moved by Callum, seconded by Arnie that the minutes of the Mar 19, 2021 meeting be approved.

Business arising from the March meeting:

–Due to covid restrictions the Vancouver Island Goat Assoc has had to cancel the 2021 West National Show. Also due to the covid restrictions and the short interval it was noted that it would not be likely that any other western province would be able to host it this year. A notice to apply for the 2022 West Nat will be in the next newsletter, FB page and website and will be due by June 30, 2021. The East Nat show is scheduled for the RAWF for 2021 and 2022.

–Judges will be contacted about the automatic extension of their licences for 2021 with no renewal fee.

–Callum and Adam and Ed have begun discussions for the creation of some webinars on judging and conformation evaluation and hope to have a release date of mid to late summer.

–Members are reminded that they can apply for Select Doe awards at any time, even posthumously.

Russell gave his report on the CGS bank balances: $6000 in chequing, and around $15,000 in savings with a surplus of over $4000 for the first quarter. Discussion of the possibility on investing a portion of the savings in a GIC ensued and Russell will investigate rates and options. It was noted that interest rates are very low at this time.

A discussion of milk recording followed and the new changes to the 305 program are now on the website. Also it was noted that covid restrictions have necessitated some changes – more owner sampler but even these lactations will qualify for the genetic testing.

A discussion of the importance of the protein values will result in further research with Brian at CCSI.

Also more explanations and clarification needs to be done for the website so as members truly understand it. Items such as how the listings are weighted, and the reliability of the indexes between animals and what factors contribute to the index could be clarified.

The Annual Yearbook for the inclusion of *M and *P awards, Select Does etc will be the February issue. This issue also normally includes East and West National Champion winners if available.

Russell has been working on the backlog of *M certificates which will hopefully be mailed out soon. Brianna and Arnie are working on a new system for the future for the creation of these and other certificates.

Russell has also been working on cleaning up unpaid accounts, and members will be notified that if they are not paid their memberships will be suspended.

Also with regard to transactions at CLRC, any members not using a credit card must make sure to submit enough funds because if there is a shortfall their work being processed will not be sent out until it is completely paid for.

CGS will continue with revision to our classification program along with Brianna at CCSI.

Arnie moved that the meeting be terminated – 10:15 pm.


Deadline for Bids to Host 2022 West National Show


At the 2021 Annual Meeting of CGS members asked that the Board consider adjusting the deadline for National Show bids to host to an earlier date.

The deadline had been September 30th of the year previous with a decision soon thereafter.

The Board considered this request and moved the deadline to June 30th of the year previous effective with 2022 National Shows.


With regard to 2020 bids from the Vancouver Island Goat Association (Western) and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF) ( Eastern) had been approved. Covid-19 restrictions caused the cancelation of both these events in 2020.


For 2021 the Board had once again approved the bid from the VIGA for the Western National and in Eastern Canada Brooklin Spring Fair had been approved as host.

Both these events have been cancelled.

An application from the RAWF had been received. This bid was approved when Brookline Spring Fair had to cancel their event. Time will tell if this event can be held.

The Board has already approved the RAWF as host of the 2022 East National in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Royal that year.


CGS is now entertaining bids to host the 2022 West National Show with a deadline of June 30, 2021 for applications.

Applications should be forwarded to the CGS office.


Report of March 2021 Board Meeting

Both before and at the February 20th board meeting members expressed an interest in reporting of actions at CGS Board of Directors meetings.

The board welcomed this interest and is now beginning a process of reporting after each meeting. Here is the first Board meeting report prepared by President Sandy Howell. After each regular Board meeting a member of the Board will provide a report of discussion and decisions at each meeting.

Report prepared by President Sandy Howell, who is also director from British Columbia.

CGS Board Meeting held via Zoom March 19, 2021

Meeting called to order 8:37 pm EST.

Opening comments by President Sandy Howell  discussion on milk recording/ testing-focus:   ways of getting more members to participate.  Sandy Howell and Catherine Lord are going to create a working paper of proposals for the Board.

Business arising from minutes of three Board meetings in February, prior to the Annual Meeting:

Discussion on overdrafts at CLRC, resulting form submission of insufficient funds to cover the costs of the registration, transfer, membership, etc. e.g. taxes or miscalculation of fees ending in CLRC collecting accounts receivable from members and clients. Earlier this year CGS wrote off several hundred dollars on very aged accounts receivable at CLRC. ( These were from 2015 and earlier and clients are no longer active in the industry. Also a number of accounts under $3.00-most under $1.50 from December 2019 and earlier were written off.   Decision was made to notify CLRC that we will no longer accept overdrafts of any amount and this has been actioned.   Consequently, if enough money isn’t sent in to cover the cost of work being done members/clients will no longer receive their work until bill paid. No more overdrafts.  Suggestion is that members either do e-transfer or credit card transactions, if at all possible.

An In Camera session was held.

Reports on:

Office move is completed.  The office in Guelph has been closed due to the covid pandemic and moved to the Secretary/Manager’s residence.

Barry Van Camp is the representative for the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair Board of Governors.

Financial statements to the end of February were reviewed.

New Business:

  • Discussion if non-members and suspended members can participate in CGS programs.  In order to participate in Milk Test and Classification participants are to be CGS members.  Suspended members and non-members can participate in shows.  A suspended member or non-member does not receive any CGS awards.
  • CLRC AGM is April 24th and will be a zoom meeting and the CGS Reps will be Callum McLeod, Ed Cavanagh and Chris Grab.
  • East National Show that was to be held at Brooklin Spring Fair. This fair has been cancelled for 2021. The opportunity to host the East National is now being offered to the Royal.
  • Deadline for submission of applications to host a National show has been changed to a July 1 of the year previous.  
  • Steering Committee re Grant Application to Government reports that we should know by April 1st. This grant would provide funding to establish integrated databases within the small ruminant sector of the industry.
  • Judges extension of license for 2021:  letter will be going out to Judges regarding extensions at no fee for 2021.  Callum and Ed are looking at putting a webinar review together, as a refresher for judges.
  • News Letter: An issue to go out soon with a pull out, asking people if they want access to the Newsletter/ Quarterly on line or in hard copy by mail.  The response will be returned to office.
  • Classification:  Meeting was held with Holstein Canada in early March and we are waiting for Holstein Canada to reply.
  • Breeding Records:  Board members were asked to submit their breeding records, four sets have been received to date. When those are all in the membership, with one member randomly selected by computer software from each district, will be asked to submit breeding records for the most recent year. This process is an option within the by-laws of CGS.   

Meeting adjourned at 10:02 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Annual Report of CGS

Reports presented at the 2021 AGM of CGS on February 20, 2021 have now been loaded under the heading ANNUAL REPORT OF CGS (AGM2021) in the INFO AND LINKS section of this website. Included are minutes of the 2021 AGM, reports from Directors, Committees and the Secretary-Manager and a review of Canadian National Goat Federation actions during 2020.

We commend these documents to your review and study.

2020 was a year of growth and progress and we look froward to much more of the same in 2021!