Keeping Alberta Affordable: Eligible seniors and families with children under 18 can apply for $600 affordability payments. Learn more and apply now
See event listings and more articles in this edition of Agri-News: July 4, 2022 issue
“Domestic sheep and goats commonly carry a bacterium called Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (M. ovi for short) that can cause pneumonia and large-scale population die-offs of wild herds following close contact,” says Anne Hubbs, senior wildlife biologist with the Alberta government.
Signs of the disease include coughing, nasal discharge, weight loss and in most cases, death. Unlike their wild counterparts, many domestic animals with M. ovi show no visible signs of the disease.
There are no vaccines or treatments for wild sheep or goats, so maintaining physical separation from domestic sheep and goats is critical.
“We have identified areas in Alberta where domestic sheep and goat use on crown lands is strongly discouraged in all cases, or prohibited for industry, for example forestry or energy companies. In collaboration with the Alberta government, we have also initiated a voluntary testing and fencing program for domestic sheep and goat producers in these areas.”
Albertans are asked to report sightings of the following to their local biologist:
- bighorn sheep and mountain goats near domestic sheep and goat herds
- domestic sheep or goats in bighorn sheep and mountain goat ranges
- sick bighorn sheep or mountain goats
Learn more about pneumonia and bighorn sheep.
Download the map of Mountain Goat and Bighorn Sheep Areas (PDF, 17 MB)
Domestic sheep and goat producers can contact Heather Van Esch at 403-948-8536, surveillance veterinarian, with questions.
Sign up for Agri-News
Start every Monday with the week’s top agricultural stories and latest updates.
Read about all things agriculture at Alberta.ca/agri-news
Was this page helpful?
You will NOT receive a reply on your feedback. Do NOT include personal information. To get answers to questions, use Alberta Connects.
Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.