Sheep and goats
There are approximately 59,000 sheep and 14,000 goats in British Columbia according to the Statistics Canada 2016 Census of Agriculture.
These animals are raised on farms of all sizes and for many different reasons including meat, fibre and milk production, weed and lawn control, fun, herd dog training, teaching children about agriculture and life skills, and many others.
Publications are available on health and nutrition of sheep and goats, including:
A guide for producers on biosecurity, common animal diseases and how to prevent and/or treat them.
Codes of Practice
The Codes of Practice, developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council, are guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They are an excellent source of practical information:
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep
- Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats
The Government of British Columbia offers a series of daylong workshops in various parts of the province. Topics covered include: nutrition, biosecurity, common diseases, vaccination protocols, parasite management, and wild and domestic sheep interaction in high risk areas.
If you are interested in helping to organize a workshop in your community or if you would like to be notified of any upcoming workshops in your region please email AgriserviceBC@gov.bc.ca.
Animal health diagnostic services
The Animal Health Centre provides veterinary diagnostic services that protect the health of all animals in B.C. to support disease prevention, control and eradication. There are a range of tests available for sheep and goats including tests to evaluate herds for certain diseases and necropsy services to determine cause of death.
In January of 2015, the Animal Health Act was updated to allow the Province to better manage and respond to animal diseases to:
- Strengthen detection and management of diseases that can spread between animals and humans
- Ensure that B.C.'s farms are competitive by preventing, promptly detecting and eradicating animal diseases
- Reflect the realities of increasing global travel and trade
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a mandate to ensure a safe food supply for everyone in Canada. Other local, provincial and federal legislation and regulations apply.