Having helped with vet checks at past ADGA National Shows, I know that health certificates can be a HUGE source of frustration and stress for goat owners upon arrival.  If you EXPLICITLY follow all Colorado Health Requirements AND make sure that your veterinarian has properly filled out your health certificate, with ALL of the proper statements (especially Scrapie), your animals can be unloaded into their pens quickly.

Vet checks shouldn’t be stressful if you’ve done the work ahead time!  Remember, vet checks protect you and your animals.  The last thing we want is for our goats to get sick or contract diseases at the show.  If everyone brings healthy animals and complies with the rules, we can avoid sickness, disease and death.  Your animal will NOT show well if she is sick, so there is no reason to bring a sick animal to the ADGA National Show.

Healthy Goats are Happy Goats!

Joan S. Bowen, DVM has 36 years of veterinary experience with goats and is leading a team of 8 experienced veterinarians for the health checks at the 2012 ADGA National Show.  I asked her to write a blog going into more specific detail about the health requirements for the National Show.  Following these guidelines will help insure the smoothest possible vet check experience:


Colorado’s import requirements for goats are not very different from those of surrounding states but they are very explicit.  All animals entering the state of Colorado must be individually listed on a health certificate (also known as a certificate of veterinary inspection) issued by a licensed and accredited veterinarian.  All goats regardless of their age and whether or not they are being shown must have either official scrapie eartags (heaven forbid!) or legible tattoos with corresponding registration papers.  Microchips are considered a secondary form of identification, so please make sure that even the very young nursing babies have scrapie tags or tattoos with registration papers.  Stamped duplicates do not count as registration papers.  We have had a lot of questions from Nigerian breeders – yes, nursing babies have to have ID.

Colorado requires that goats entering the state have a permit issued by the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office.  Your veterinarian can obtain the permit after he or she writes your certificate of veterinary inspection.  The permit phone number is 303-239-4169 and permits can be obtained 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  The reason that permits are required is to keep track of which animals might be attending a large event, like the ADGA National Show, so that livestock owners can be contacted later if there is a disease outbreak at or following the event.

A Goat with Scrapie

The United States Mandatory Federal Scrapie Eradication Program published its rules in February 2001, but people are often still startled when they see the official rules listed.  Colorado has had three different cases of Scrapie diagnosed in goats born in Colorado, so the state must follow the federal rules exactly in order to be consistent with the federal program.  Only your veterinarian can make these statements and they must be listed on the health certificate.  They cannot be written or typed on a piece of paper and attached to the health certificate.  There are three basic parts to the scrapie statement and the purpose is to insure that the animals coming to Colorado haven’t been exposed to Scrapie.

The three parts of the MANDATORY Scrapie statement are:

  1. The animals listed on the health certificate have not come from a herd in which scrapie has been diagnosed within the past 5 years.
  2. The animals on the health certificate have not been on a property or premise at which scrapie has been diagnosed within the past 5 years.
  3. The animals on the health certificate are not from a herd that has been identified as a source or traceback herd for scrapie in the past 5 years.

The reason for the “5 year” comments is that the symptoms of scrapie take a very long time to develop and most of the cases diagnosed in this country have occurred in goats over 5 years of age.  Some states lump the three parts into one big sentence while others just say that there has been no scrapie in the herd.  However, because Colorado has had cases of scrapie diagnosed in goats, we have to use all three parts.

The website listing the health requirements for bringing goats into Colorado is

Please note that if you want to bring your dogs and cats with you to Colorado, they will also need a health certificate.  Cats and dogs over 3 months of age must be vaccinated for rabies and you should bring a copy of their rabies certificates with you.  [Please Note: The ADGA Rules cites “over 6 months of age” – this is incorrect].  Larimer County is in the midst of a skunk rabies flare and there have been 16 confirmed cases of rabid animals this year.  Protect your pets by making sure they are vaccinated for rabies before arrival.


Please email joan [at] goatshowdoc [dot] com and she will respond within 24 hours.

If your question is GENERAL and would apply to other goat owners, please feel free to respond in this blog’s comments.  Joan will respond within 24 hours to blog comments as well.

Don’t forget: Healthy goats always look and show better than sick goats.  Thank you for reading all of this information and good luck at the National Show!

One response

  1. Pingback: Health Inspection? - The Pack Goat Forum

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