Farm sheep and goats in Yukon

  • Sheep and goat regulations for Yukon livestock owners
  • Identify your farm
  • Keep domestic and wild species separated
  • Animal identification and inventory
  • Test your animals for respiratory disease
  • Transporting or importing sheep or goats

  1. Sheep and goat regulations for Yukon livestock owners

    There are special requirements if you want to own sheep and goats in Yukon. These requirements are in place to:

    • help Yukon farmers be stewards for the environment;
    • protect Yukon’s wild thinhorn sheep and mountain goat populations; and
    • support farmers with their livestock production.

    If you own sheep and goats, you must comply with the sheep and goat Control Order to reduce the risk of spreading respiratory pathogens, especially Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (M. ovi), to wild sheep and goats. If you do not comply with the sheep and goat Control Order, you’ve committed an offence under the Animal Health Act and can be charged.

    To comply with the Control Order, you must:

    • identify your farm;
    • keep your animals in an approved fenced area;
    • report escaped animals or contact between domestic with wild species;
    • permanently identify animals and keep herd records;
    • have your animals tested for respiratory disease; and
    • apply for a permit when importing sheep or goats to Yukon.

    Premises with sheep and goats are inspected each year to ensure the requirements are being met. We’ll contact you each year to book an annual inspection.


  2. Identify your farm

    If you own sheep or goats, you must let us know. Failure to do so is an offence under the Animal Health Act.

    Contact the Animal Health Unit by emailing animalhealth@yukon.ca or phoning: 867-667-5600 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600.

    We will set up a phone call or meeting with you to discuss:

    Generally, farms or properties cannot be located above 1,000 metres in elevation.

    Even if you only have 1 or 2 animals, you must still follow the sheep and goat Control Order.


  3. Keep domestic and wild species separated

    You must contain your sheep and goats so that:

    • they do not escape;
    • you reduce the chance that wild sheep or goats can get into the enclosure; and
    • there is no nose-to-nose contact between livestock and wild sheep or goats.

    Containment fence requirements

    Containment fences must provide primary containment with a secondary structure that maintains at least 60 centimetres' (2 feet) separation to prevent nose to nose contact.

    • The primary fence must:
      • be at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) high; and
      • keep animals from putting their head through
    • The secondary structure can be a physical fence or other structure that provides the needed separation. An example is electric outriggers.

    We’ll work with you to design a fence that:

    • makes sense for your operation; and
    • when possible, uses existing infrastructure.

    You can apply for agriculture funding to offset the costs of containment or prevention fencing.

    The enclosure where you keep your sheep or goats must:

    • receive an “approved containment” sign;
    • be inspected annually; and
    • be maintained in its approved condition.

    Contact the Agriculture Branch to:

    • review your enclosure requirements; or
    • have your fence inspected and approved.

    Email agriculture@yukon.ca or phone 867-667-5838, toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5838.

    If your animals escape or wild sheep and goats visit your property

    You must immediately report:

    • any animal that escapes your enclosure; or
    • any wild or unknown domestic sheep or goat on your property.

    This includes reporting escaped animals during transport. You could be fined if you do not report escaped animals.

    To report escaped, missing or contact between domestic and wild sheep and goats, phone:

    • the Agriculture Branch at 867-667-5838; or
    • an animal protection officer at 867-667-3597.

    We can help:

    • find your livestock; and
    • develop a plan to capture them.

  4. Animal identification and inventory

    Your sheep and goats must have permanent identification on them to allow for individual identification. Examples include ear tags, microchips or leg bands. Learn more about the mandatory Canadian Sheep Identification Program.

    You must also keep a record of each sheep and goat you own. Your records must include the date of:

    • birth;
    • purchase;
    • sale;
    • death; and
    • if completed, slaughter.

    Update your records when:

    • there's a loss or addition of sheep or goats to your property; and
    • when animals visit your farm for breeding or boarding. Include the source farm and the dates that they were on your property in your records.

    You can use these forms for record keeping:


  5. Test your animals for respiratory disease

    You must have your sheep and goats tested for the respiratory pathogen Mycoplasma ovipneumonaie (M. ovi).

    We will:

    • come to your farm to do the testing;
    • do required repeat testing; and
    • not charge fees for testing.

    Veterinarians at the Animal Health Unit are available at animalhealth@yukon.ca or phone: 867-667-5600 or toll free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600 to answer any questions about testing requirements.

    If an animal’s nasal swabs test negative for M. ovi, the animal is not considered disease-free. This bacteria can survive within sheep or goats undetected.

    Repeat testing, at least annually, is required to continue to reduce the risk in Yukon. We base the frequency of re-testing on:

    • an annual risk assessment; and
    • a farm-by-farm basis.

    If your animal tests positive for M.ovi, we’ll direct you to destroy it. You’ll be eligible for compensation for destroyed animals and you can also slaughter the animal and sell the meat, as it is safe to eat.


  6. Transporting or importing sheep or goats

    From outside Yukon

    To import domestic sheep or goats to Yukon from outside the territory, you need an import permit issued by the Agriculture Branch. There is no cost for this permit.

    • You may have animals pre-tested for M. ovi before they are imported. Funding is available to support pre-testing.
    • You must have approved containment that is separate from existing animals before any animals are imported.
    • You must have all animals tested for M. ovi after they arrive in Yukon. This is still required even if they were pre-tested.
    • You must quarantine newly imported animals and follow strict biosecurity measures until notified by the Animal Health Unit.

    Get an import permit

    1. Contact us before you bring new livestock into your operation. Email the Agriculture Branch at agriculture@yukon.ca or phone 867-667-5838, toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5838.
    2. Complete an application form 4 weeks before you plan to import sheep or goats. Include:
      • information about your operation;
      • transportation information, and transport manifest; and
      • a list of the type and number of animals you plan to import.
    3. We’ll review the application and contact you to schedule a meeting or farm visit. At the meeting or visit, we’ll discuss:
      • your pre-testing plans;
      • quarantine containment plans; and
      • the testing protocol for after your new animals arrive.
    4. When we approve your application, we’ll issue you a permit number. We’ll review any permit conditions with you. We'll also provide you with a sheep and goats loading document to verify the animals to be imported. 

    Quarantine containment plan

    As part of your import application, you must submit a quarantine containment plan. Your plan must:

    • prevent any contact between the quarantined animal(s) and any other sheep or goats;
    • be approved by the Animal Health Unit; and
    • be maintained until testing is completed and all animals have a negative test for M. ovi.

    You must report any animals that breach the quarantine plan. Phone the Agriculture Branch at 867-667-5838 or the Animal Health Unit at 867-667-5600.

    From inside Yukon

    You do not need a permit to move, purchase or sell domestic sheep and goats within Yukon.

    If you move animals onto your farm:

    • carefully consider the risk to your herd or flock;
    • update your records after sale or purchase. This record of movement must be kept for 2 years;
    • document the date and source of any animals visiting your farm (for example, “for breeding purposes”);
    • have approved containment; and
    • practise rigorous biosecurity.

    If you are buying sheep or goats for the 1st time, you’ll need approved containment on your property and must fulfil all the requirements for the Control Order before receiving the animals.

    Before you bring new livestock into your operation, phone the Agriculture Branch at 867-667-5838 or the Animal Health Unit at 867-667-5600.

    Other options

    Producers should also consider lower-risk ways of getting new animals without the risk of introducing M. ovi or other pathogens. For example, artificial insemination is a safe and unrestricted way to expand the genetic diversity of your herd or flock.


Contact 

For questions about owning sheep or goats in Yukon call the Agriculture Branch or Animal Health Unit.

For the Agriculture Branch, email agriculture@yukon.ca or phone: 867-667-5838 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5838.

For the Animal Health Unit, email animalhealth@yukon.ca or phone 867-667-5600 or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600.