2018 Maritime Beef Conference

For those interested in the 2018 Maritime Beef Conference, further information is provided below.

January Available Courses at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus

Below are flyers of two courses being offered at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in the New Year.
These are: (1) LeadAtlantic and (2) Meat Cutting.
Please contact the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) for more information.

Ad_LeadAtlantic (new window)

Ad_MeatCourses (new window)

2018 Maritime Beef Conference

Material at the Maritime Beef Conference may not be specifically sheep related, but everyone can learn
something from keynote speaker Temple Grandin! She will be speaking multiple times through the two
day event.

Get your tickets today so you don’t miss out!

PSBANS Annual Meeting Postponed

The Purebred Sheep Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia have postponed their Annual General Meeting scheduled for December 9, 2017.

The meeting will now be held on Saturday January 6, 2018 starting at 11:00 am at the Ruminant Animal Centre (RAC) on the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture Campus in Bible Hill (39 Farmstead Rd).

This will be going over the Fall Sale 2017 results, some research, as well as discussing the up coming Sheep Classic 2018 that will be held in Truro, this coming July.

Hope to see you there!

Refreshments and food will be provided.

Revoked Animal Indicators

Pink Ketchum Kurl-Lock #3 tag (OVI-07-01) revoked from CSIP effective immediately

Ottawa, ON (November 23, 2017) – Earlier today, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency officially revoked the Ketchum Kurl-Lock #3 tag (OVI-07-01) with published updates to the list of animal indicators approved under the Livestock Identification and Traceability (TRACE) program. In a news release issued September 15th, the Canadian Sheep Federation notified Canadian sheep farmers and ranchers that the pink metal Ketchum Kurl-Lock #3 tag was poised to be revoked from the Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP), in preparation for today’s announcement.

Now that the Ketchum Kurl-Lock tag is officially revoked, producers are reminded that an animal may not be shipped from it’s current location bearing only the pink Ketchum tag. A new, currently approved, CSIP tag will need to be added to animals leaving their current premises even if they have a pink Ketchum tag in their ear. You will also need to report the new tag number to Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) along with the number of the pink tag already on the animal. You MAY NOT remove a pink metal Ketchum tag from a sheep or lamb even after the tag has been revoked, it is illegal.

For more information about the Canadian Sheep Identification Program, visit the Canadian Sheep Federation’s website at: or give us a call at 888.684.7739.
For detailed information about regulated national animal identification programs, including up to date lists of approved identifiers for all regulated species, visit thee CFIA Website

Pink Ketchum Kurl-Lock tag to be revoked from CSIP by end of October

Ottawa, ON (September 15, 2017) – Canadian sheep farmers and ranchers should expect the pink metal Ketchum Kurl-Lock #3 tag to be revoked from the Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) at the end of October 2017. In an upcoming meeting of national ID program administrators, stakeholders and government representatives scheduled for early October, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will recommend revoking the pink metal Ketchum Kurl-Lock tag. In a meeting earlier this week, the Canadian Sheep Federation Board of Directors elected to support the tag’s revocation, as they considered a recommendation from the CSIP Working Group to do so.

Kurl-Lock Tag Press Release [PDF]


What is maedi visna?
How can I tell if my flock has the virus?
How can I take part in the survey?
What are the options for a virus free flock?

Maedi visna virus (MVV)
Causes a slow wasting disease that is eventually fatal. There is no cure or vaccine.
Major signs of disease are seen in the lungs (ovine progressive pneumonia) and in the udder, as a chronic mastitis reducing milk production (hard bag)
The virus spreads through colostrum, and especially through prolonged contact (respiratory secretions), so it spreads easily in winter when sheep are in the barn
Effects in the flock include early culling of less productive ewes, lower lamb weights and lower lamb survival
Effects are usually seen in older animals (over about 4 years), but the virus can be transmitted to lambs or young ewes and rams and the disease is slowly progressive

Blood samples taken by a veterinarian are sent for analysis to a veterinary laboratory in Ontario
The test has high sensitivity and specificity (few false positive or false negative results) and can detect the virus in animals over 6 months of age

This survey
Will cover much of the cost of sample analysis
Up to 50 animals per flock can be tested for a sample analysis cost of $2/sample. Regular cost through the Pathology Laboratory at present is $15/sample plus handling and shipping
The cost of the veterinarian’s visit to take the samples cannot be included
More than 50 animals could also be included, but the cost per sample for additional animals would be at the full price
Will show what percentage of the sampled farms are MVV positive, and help individual producers come up with a strategy to combat the virus if it is present in their flocks

Can MVV be controlled?
Yes, there are options:
All MVV positive animals can be culled and the flock tested again every 4-8 months
MVV positive animals can be kept apart from the rest of the flock (separate barn, or subdivided barn space)
Lambs from valuable animals can be snatched at birth and raised on artificial colostrum and milk replacer
Lambs can be raised normally by infected ewes, separated after weaning, and tested at 6 months
Ontario and Quebec both have MVV monitoring programs. The Ontario Maedi Visna Flock Status Program is available at, and has a lot of useful information

We are looking for 25 producers to participate
For small flocks (less than 50) we can sample all animals over 6 months.
For larger flocks you can select older animals (more likely to be infected) and any in poor condition, or select a random sample of animals of any age over 6 months

If you are interested
Contact Cathy Vallis at for more details and to register.
All data will be kept confidential, and only released in summary form: percentage of flocks infected, sheep infected per flock, and age breakdown if available.

NSDA Online Premises ID Launch

The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture is pleased to notify you that the Nova Scotia Premises ID Program has launched an online system that can be used by producers and others responsible for livestock premises to apply for premises identification (PID) numbers and to manage the information related to a premises on an on-going basis.

Premises identification is a way of linking livestock and poultry to a geographic location for the purposes of responding to emergencies that threaten animal or public health. It is a key component of the national livestock traceability initiative.

A premises is considered to be identified when the following information is complete, accurate and current:

  • Legal land description (property identification number)
  • Geo-coordinates
  • Land owner/Emergency contact information
  • Premises type (e.g. farm, community pasture, abattoir, etc.)
  • Animal type (all animals on the premises)
  • Maximum animal capacity for each farmed animal type (not an inventory but an estimate of the number of head of a given species that could be housed at the site)

Individuals responsible for a livestock premises can now go to for more information and to follow the link to create an account and apply for a PID.

E-mails can also be sent to or you can call 902-890-9840.

Farm Equipment Inspection and traveling safely on Nova Scotia roads

If you are hauling farm equipment such as livestock trailers on Nova Scotia roads that travel faster than 40 km/hr they must be inspected.  These trailers do not need to have plates or be registered (if towed by a bona fide farmer, but do need a valid safety inspection.  These inspections must be done every two years.

Farm equipment displaying a slow moving vehicle sign does not have to be inspected but it must not travel faster than 40 km/hr.

It has been brought to our attention that there is unsafe transportation of livestock taking place on Nova Scotia roads.  Having loaded livestock trailers with bald tires and no safety chains for example jeopardizes not only the safety of the driver towing the trailer, but other motorists and the onboard livestock.  These infractions of vehicle compliance are also subject to fines.  It is the mandate of Vehicle Compliance under the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to ensure highways and roadways are safe for all traveling motorists.  Please ensure that you are operating and towing all farm equipment in a safe manner and in compliance with inspection regulation to avoid downtime and interruption in your travel and livestock transportation.

If you have any questions about specifics or what is required, please contact a Motor Vehicle Inspector or enquire at an Official Inspection Station.

Fibre Producer Survey

Are you a knitter, crocheter, felter, spinner, rug hooker, or weaver? We’re looking for your input!
A working group made up of Nova Scotian fibre producers and processors is looking at expanding the local market for locally-produced and processed fibre. Thousands of pounds of wool produced in Nova Scotia are discarded each year. If sheep producers and other fibre producers (alpaca, mohair, linen, etc.) knew what fibre crafters were looking for, perhaps this waste could be reduced with economic benefits for all parties.
Please take 5-10 minutes to complete this short survey, and win a chance at an awesome fibre prize!
This project is sponsored by the Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia (SPANS), in partnership with the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers and Rare Breeds Canada, and with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. If you have any questions about the project, please contact working group chair Ruth Mathewson (; 902-897-7708) or SPANS Executive Director Brad McCallum (902-893-7455). All information will be held by SPANS to be used for this project only and kept confidential.
Click Here to participate in the Fibre Producers Survey [new window]

Contact SPANS

60 Research Dr
Perennia Innovation Park
Bible Hill, NS
B6L 2R2
Phone: 902-893-7455
Fax: 902-893-7063