What's It All About?

What do I NEED to Know?

There are two types of Scrapies compliance. One is where your goat has or needs a scrapies tag in its ear to travel. The other is a whole herd program, which is not necessary to get the eartags. Let's start with the easy one first.

Scrapies Eartags

Most states require that a goat that crosses the border into that state has permanent identification. Some states accept a tattoo/registration paper combo. Most states DO NOT accept microchips. Many states require that the permanent ID be in the form of a scrapies tag.
That means if you sell a goat out of state, you might need to make sure it has a scrapies eartag.

Scrapies tags are easy to get, and easy to apply.

In Virginia, you just call up the State Veterinarian's office, and they mail you a box of eartags, as well as the tool to insert the tag into your goat's ear. It is like using a stapler. You put the tag in the little hand-held device and squeeze. Release, and Bingo, tag's in the ear.

Keep a record of the tag number with your goat records. When you ship a goat out of state, the vet will usually put the goat's Scrapies tag number on the health certificate, so record-keeping is pretty straightforward.

Some states require that a goat has permanent identification even if they are travelling WITHIN THE STATE.

Scrapies Herd/Flock Certification Program

Being listed as a Scrapies-Free herd is very different from getting a set of eartags. The San Clemente Island Goat Association's primary concern with the National Scrapies Certification Program right now to enable the shipping of USA breeding females into Canada.


In 2011, in order to ship female goats from the USA into Canada, you have to be in the Scrapies Certification Program. This is how to get into the program:

  • Call up the local Scrapies Vet.
  • Have the Scrapies Vet come over to inspect your herd. They'll walk you through the process, and ask you to log births, deaths, and sales of your goats.
  • If one of your adult goats dies, you'll need to call up the Scrapies Vet and ask that they come and inspect your goat to make sure it didn't die of scrapies.
  • If you don't have any goats die, and they don't hear from you in a long time, it's fine.
  • You remain in a bit of a limbo state, waiting to get the "Official Certification" vs. the "Temporary Certification."
  • Once you're official, you can ship female goats into Canada (as long as they're following the Canadian rules on their end).
Official Certification can take up to FIVE YEARS—so if you can do it, please do. . . Canada might be pretty desperate in 5 years from now, and we need to plan ahead to help them later.


Information about importing goats into Canada can be found at:

When you import goats from the USA into Canada, you'll need an import permit.

When you import FEMALE goats, your permit office will be checking the facts before the permit is issued. They'll check, among other things, whether your USA exporting herd has Scrapies Certification. You will ALSO need to be in Scrapies compliance.
If you're completely new to all of this, Scrapies compliance works as follows:
  • Start with no other goats or sheep on property.
  • Apply for Temporary Enrollment in the Scrapie Flock Certification Program.
  • Import the goats, with the understanding that you'll keep in Scrapie compliance for two years.
The website for Scrapie Canada is
Frankly, it's a little tricky to navigate through!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to I contact my State Vet just to get eartags?

Go to Click on your state, and your State Vat's info will pop up in a new window.

Are my records public if I use scrapies eartags?

Anytime you have a health certificate issued, a copy goes to your State Veterinarian's office. If someone were bored beyond belief they could probably use the Freedom of Information act to access these records, but who on earth would want to?

If I use scrapies eartags, do I need to report each tag to the State Vet?

No, the vets are too busy for that. They have a file of "we gave him Indiana state tags from 7800 through 7899" and so a goat with an "Indiana 7853" tag can be traced back to your farm in case of emergency, and you should be able to tell them where the goat went, if it's gone.

I'm selling a goat to an out-of-state breeder, but my state does not require any permanent ID for goat imports. So can I skip the whole idea of eartags?

No. The state that is receiving the goat calls the shots. That means that you would need to abide by the laws of whichever state your goats are moving to. Some require tags, some don't.

How do I find out what the importing state requires?

Select your destination state from the list of states on the lower part of the page at:

If scrapies eartags are required by the destination state, can I borrow tags, or maybe just have the buyer put one of HIS tags in?

No way.

I was going to just bring a goat over the state line in the back of my van. Do I really have to do all the health certificate/ID stuff? Will anyone actually check?

This is all about interstate biosecurity. As a breeder, you'll earn your best reputation by playing within the rules. Most farmers LIKE the idea of keeping their home state cootie-free. It's doesn't take much effort. . .

Do I have to be in the National Scrapies Certification Program to ship a goat within the USA?


Is any certification or identification needed to ship breeding goats across provincial lines within Canada?

No! You can just pop your goat into the backseat and take her anywhere within Canada!

Do I have to be in the National Scrapies Certification Program to ship a male goat into Canada?

USA-to-Canada Scrapies rules are mainly for females. Bucks entering Canada so not have to be enrolled in a certified flock, but does do. Shipping a male goat from the US to Canada will need a little coordination, though.
In 2011, Dave (USA) sent a couple of SCI bucks up to Judith (Canada). We posted Judith's buck import story if you'd like to read it.

How to I find my local Scrapies Program contact person in the USA?

That would also be your State Vet office. Go to
Click on your state, and your State Vet's info will pop up in a new window.

How to I find my local Scrapies Program contact person in Canada?

You might start at
If you have a better link, please let us know!

Where do I go for an import permit?

The CFIA has a pretty good site at

Where do I find my Canadian border veterinarian?

or try

Hopefully, this should get everyone started. The information was posted December 2011, and is subject to change.

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San Clemente Island Goat Association