2011 Billy Goats Come to Canada!
Crossing the Canadian Border with Goats
Judith Sevigny of Quebec brought in some SCI bucks from the USA in the fall of 2011. Here's her story. . .
My adventure to get our bucklings home was a memorable one. It was long ride one of the hottest days of July. We had one day left before my permit expired. Needless to say, there was pressure.
It is a lot simpler to import bucks compared to does. Does require being on the Scrapies program. What it involves for a doe is sending any dead animals (except those killed for the purpose of routine slaughter) to a lab for an autopsy. What discouraged me was the herd had to be in this program for 5 years before being eligible. I did not seek out to find anyone doing this, as it involves a commitment. The following link explains everything in detail. There are too many details to list. I believe that once it is all done, it will be worth it. San Clemente Island goats are remarkable.
Canada is required to have the same high standards as the USA already has. Being involved in agriculture I know that sheep in Canada are often in poor health. Goats fall under the same category as sheep, being small ruminants.
At my end, what I first needed to do was to get a permit. When selecting one, there are options. I chose the 'one time pass' crossing the border permit which was only good for 30 days.
Once I get the permit, I give the OK to the exporter/breeder to proceed. Blood samples are sent to the lab and this can take up to 2 weeks. A USDA veterinarian needs confirm all of this. Perhaps only 1 veterinarian needs to be involved. But from what I gathered, they are few and far apart who qualify to do this.
I did not witness the blood test but I assume the blood work needs to be drawn by the veterinarian to validate that it is in fact from the correct animal. To get the results took the longest. I would have to go back and check my emails on the location but it was out of state. There was less than a week to go before my permit expired. If my permit expired then the blood work would have to be done all over again. I cannot stress enough how timing is crucial for everything to go smoothly. It was at this point when I began to get worried. As it was, this extra step did cost more and I didn't even have them yet!
All the health papers are done by the veterinarian. It is best to connect the Canadian border Veterinarian with the American Veterinarian to assure the correct forms are filled out. This can save a lot of time and cost to meet the deadline. The border veterinarian is through the CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/util/contact/commene.shtml
I sent an email to be contacted and heard from them the very next day. There is an assigned veterinarian for each region by province. I explained to everyone I spoke to that I had never done this before and they walked me through it.
The USDA veterinarian is contacted by the exporter (in my case, Dave Adams). When all the paperwork was sent to me this was my green light to go ahead. I was told by the border to send it to them so they could see and verify everything to minimize any delay. The border told me that lately there has been a lot of paperwork which has not been done correctly and since I am bringing in live animals it is in the best interest of the animal to be able to go straight through without delay.
Later that day, I was told the paperwork would not do. Also the ear tags weren't the correct ones. So I immediatley contacted Dave and told him this. He then contacted his veterinarian, who then called the border veterinarian. I gave Dave the border phone number so that there was no misunderstanding in order to get the proper forms filled out. When there are too many involved (he said, she said) communication gets confused. When the farm veterinarian contacted the border veterinarian the proper documents were done and checked by a USDA veterianarian with no time to spare.
One last thing and very important. . . Make sure you get the right goat (I did)! Check everything.
The San Clemente Island Goat Association would like to thank Judith Sevigny and Dave Adams for successfully getting SCI bucks into Canada! Great work!
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