Ontario Goat Receives ABP Funding for CAE Prevalence Study

March 21, 2012


GULEPH, Ont. - Ontario Goat (OG) is pleased to announce that it has secured approximately $110,000 in funding to complete a Prevalence of Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE) in Ontario Goat Herds project as part of the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP).

CAE is a major production-limiting disease that affects the health, longevity and production of goats. CAE is a viral infection in goats which can cause encephalitis in kids and chronic joint disease in adults. CAE is elusive and goats can be infected without showing visible symptoms. Because of this, goats can pass CAE on to their offspring perpetuating the spread of the disease in the herd.

This innovative and proactive project will see fifty randomly selected producers volunteer their herds for random blood sampling. At each farm, twenty animals from a range of ages, will have blood drawn for extensive lab analysis. Participating producers will also be required to complete a confidential questionnaire detailing the age, sex, breed, and sector (dairy/meat/fibre) of their tested animals along with identifying the biosecurity practices they currently implement on-farm. The survey content will be correlated with their respective sampling results and each herd will receive a report on their individual CAE status.

"This project will expand on current testing done in the Ontario goat herd to establish a preliminary baseline prevalence of the CAE virus," says Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) Chair, John Kikkert. "Determining current prevalence in Ontario is the first step in creating a program for eradicating this production-limiting and economically significant disease."

“Knowing the prevalence of CAE in our goat herds is the first step towards developing programs and tools to help goat producers to prevent, manage and even eradicate CAE from their herds” explained Jennifer Bullock, Project Manager for Ontario Goat. “Reducing the impact of this production limiting disease will have a positive financial impact on a producer’s bottom line” she added.

Once the prevalence of CAE in Ontario goat herds is determined, industry can then focus on the next steps of developing resources and protocols to help goat producers in the management of this disease. The results of this project will also serve as a benchmark from which future testing can be compared against in order to measure the effectiveness and impact of prevention programs. The CAE-free status of Ontario’s goat herd will also allow the industry to pursue new domestic and export  markets with high quality Ontario goats and goat genetics.

“This project is another example of how Ontario Goat can work on behalf of all Ontario goat producers in order to leverage important funding for projects that can address the productivity and financial viability of Ontario goat herds,” stated Ontario Goat President Tobin Schlegel

The results of this study, including data that outlines the prevalence of CAE in the Ontario goat population, will be shared with all goat producers at various Ontario Goat events along with recommended biosecurity practices that can be implemented on farm to help with disease prevention.

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

Ontario Goat represents Ontario’s milk, meat and fibre goat farmers with a united voice.


For more information please contact:
Jennifer Bullock, Project Manager
Tel: (519) 824-2942

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