Wild Sheep Health

Wild sheep are susceptible to infectious diseases, among other pressures.

Factors Affecting Wild Sheep Health

  • Change in habitat quality and quantity
  • Human disturbance and industrial activity
  • Competition for resources with other species, such as grazing livestock and other wild animals
  • Poor quality and low availability of feed
  • Overpopulation
  • Predators such as coyotes, wolves, cougars, bears and eagles
  • Severe weather
  • Infectious diseases and parasites
  • Livestock interactions

The BC Sheep Separation Program

Domestic sheep and goats can transmit infectious pathogens to wild sheep, causing respiratory disease outbreaks fatal to wild sheep.

In response, the B.C. Sheep Separation Program (BCSSP) serves as a partnership protecting and promoting healthy wild sheep populations in British Columbia.

The BCSSP works collaboratively with various stakeholders to reduce the risk of disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats, to wild sheep.

Formally initiated in 2008, the BCSSP is a collaboration involving the Ministry of Environment (now Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development), the Wild Sheep Society of B.C., the B.C. Sheep Federation, B.C. sheep producers and other stakeholders.