Energy, Mines and Resources

Agriculture

Disease Monitoring

The Yukon Agriculture Branch works with the Federal Government, other Yukon Government departments and industry to monitor animal and plant diseases.


Premise Identification and Traceability

Recent events in other parts of Canada, such as outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad-cow disease) and chronic wasting disease in cervids (deer, elk, moose), have highlighted the need for reliable and quickly retrievable livestock information.

Many livestock sectors have already laid solid foundations for traceability, often led by industry. For example, animal identification is already mandatory in the cattle, bison and sheep sectors. While Yukon has been fortunate not to have experienced an animal disease emergency to date, the Yukon government continues to take a proactive role in national traceability initiatives in order to be prepared should an emergency occur.

In 2006, federal, provincial and territorial ministers committed to phase-in a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System. In 2009, that commitment was reaffirmed with 2011 being set as the target for implementation of a mandatory, Canada-wide traceability system for livestock.

3 pillars of the National Agriculture and Food Traceability System:

  1. Animal identification
    This will be led by industry
  2. Premises identification
    Canadian provinces and territories will work on this. In Yukon, the intial focus will be on cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry. Over 2011, we will be contacting producers of these species to register premises and assign a unique identifier to the location. You may also contact the Agriculture Branch yourself to register. Information collected as part of premise identification will be kept strictly confidential and will only be shared with those authorized to assist in the event of an emergency.
  3. Animal movement
    The federal government is working on legislation around reporting animal movement and other events.

Benefits of participation in the National Agriculture and Food Traceability System:

  • assists in responding to disease outbreaks and other livestock emergencies;
  • enhances food safety and consumer confidence;
  • reduces economic impacts of animal health emergencies for producers;
  • ensures that developments in other jurisdictions do not affect the import of livestock into Yukon;
  • provides producers with the option to receive tailored information from Yukon's Chief Veterinarian Officer on traceability and food safety;
  • improves access to international markets that demand traceability for livestock and livestock products.

View the Yukon Premise Identification Application Form  155 KB
Please Note: At this time, the Yukon Premise Identification Program only applies where cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens are kept.

Learn more:



Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

CWD is a progressive, fatal, degenerative disease of the brain affecting cervids (elk, mule deer, reindeer and white-tailed deer). It belongs to a group of related diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE's), which include Scrapie in sheep and goats, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans. CWD is not the same as BSE.

TSE's are caused by abnormal proteins, called prions, which accumulate in the brain. There is currently no treatment or vaccine available. In order to determine if an animal is CWD free, testing must be done post-mortem. Learn more about preventing CWD in this fact sheet  544 KB.

To monitor CWD in Yukon cervids the Yukon government implemented a Mandatory Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Program  231 KB and a Voluntary Chronic Wasting Disease Certification Program  in 2003.

Testing from 2001-2009 shows that the Yukon has disease free herds.

Yukon CWD Voluntary Herd Certification Program (updated January 2013)

Farm

Status Level 

 Eldorado Game Ranch

 Certified

 

Farmed Elk CWD Testing

 Year

 CWD Tests

 Negative

 Total Animals

 % Tested

 2001

2

2

129

1.6%

 2002

17

17

191

8.9%

 2003

72

72

215

33.5%

 2004

26

26

141

18.4%

 2005

31

31

121

25.6%

 2006

21

21

101

20.8%

 2007

12

12

69

17.4%

 2008

8

8

64

12.5%

 2009

20

20

80

25%

2010

 16

 16

 70

 23%

2011

 9

 9

 56

 16%

Chronic Wasting Disease Links


Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA)

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) or swamp fever, is an incurable blood disease of horses (and other equids). It is spread by biting insects and contaminated equipment.

EIA is known to occur in Yukon and in other provinces where Yukon horses could be exposed to the virus. A Coggins test (from a blood sample) is the only way to know whether a horse is infected.

Learn more about EIA and its prevention, symptoms, and testing in this fact sheet  442 KB.



Disease Monitoring Contacts

 

Plant disease concerns
Yukon Agrologist 867.667.5838.

Animal disease concerns
Department of Environment, Animal Health Unit:
Dr. Mary Vanderkop, Chief Veterinary Officer 867.456.5582
Dr. Jane Harms, Program Veterinarian 867.667.8663

Call a local veterinarian:

  • Alpine Veterinary Medical Centre 867.633.5700
  • Copper Road Veterinary Clinic 867.633.5184
  • Dawson Veterinary Clinic 867.993.6792
  • Dr. Ken Kilpatrick 867.667.2510
  • All Paws Veterinary Clinic 867.667.7387

Premise identification and traceability

Kevin Bowers, Agriculture Branch
Phone: 867.667.3043
Toll free (in Yukon): 1.800.661.0408 ext. 3043)
Email: kevin.bowers@gov.yk.ca