There are a variety of diseases that sheep and goat owners should be aware of. These include:

  • Scrapie
  • Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)
  • Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP)
  • Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)
  • Sore Mouth Infection (Orf or Contagious Ecthyma)
  • Foot Rot
  • Pink Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis)

Visit Cornell University and the USDA for more information about each of these diseases.

Diseases need to be reported to the Department when they meet certain criteria.


The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Scrapie Eradication Program is providing up to 100 plastic flock identification tags free of charge to first time participants in the sheep and goat identification program. This offer is good through fiscal year 2020 or until the available funds are expended. APHIS is working with sheep and goat organizations to transition toward electronic identification to improve the nation’s ability to quickly trace exposed and diseased animals in the event of an outbreak. The goal is to start to transition to electronic identification by fall 2020.  

If you are a producer or an accredited veterinarian and you would like to order official scrapie eartags, please call 1-866-USDA-TAG. Please allow four weeks for processing.

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Import & Export

Emergency Information

See emergency import and export information.



The requirements for importing sheep and goats into New York State are:

  • Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued by an accredited veterinarian in the 30 days immediately preceding entry into New York.
  • Each animal must be identified by a USDA approved scrapie ear tag or legible USDA assigned flock ID tattoo.
    • Legible official registry tattoos that have been recorded in a sheep or goat industry association’s book of record may be used as official identification on the CVI when the animal is accompanied by a registration certificate.
    • All additional man-made identification must be recorded on the CVI.

There is no permit number required for importation into New York State.


Special Considerations

New York City

In addition to New York State import requirements, animals whose destination is within New York City may be subject to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regulations. Sheep and goats entering New York City for any reason must meet these regulations. Please visit their website or call (646) 364-1783.


Livestock moved into New York for immediate slaughter must be slaughtered within six days (144 hours). Animals imported for this purpose must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, completed by a USDA Category 2 accredited veterinarian, or an owner-shipper statement (formerly known as waybill).



The USDA has jurisdiction over international movement of animals. Any questions about international movement of animals or animal products should be directed to a USDA office. Contact the New York USDA office.


Intrastate Requirements

New York state requires official scrapie identification on all sheep and goats upon change of ownership, unless they are sold directly to slaughter. There is no exception for younger animals. This identification can be approved scrapie eartags, registry tattoos, flock/individual ID tattoos or any other approved federal scrapie identification.

Fair Information

The Department's Division of Animal Industry sets guidelines to help ensure the health and safety of animals at county fairs across New York, in addition to the Great New York State Fair. Animal health requirements for 2024 county fairs and the New York State Fair are available below. Learn more about fairs in New York.

USDA has released updated recommendations on how to minimize influenza transmission at dairy cattle livestock exhibitions. Read the recommendations here.

Programs & Permits

Domestic Animal Health Permits

The Department is concerned with animal disease control and traceability in all animals, including sheep and goats. To provide adequate control of infectious and communicable diseases, permits are issued to those who deal in, handle, and transport domestic animals. Any person who buys or sells sheep and goats is an animal dealer and must have a Domestic Animal Health Permit.

Permitted livestock dealers must comply with Department laws and regulations regarding record books and record keeping; identification; import; personal use; and more.

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Sheep & Goat Health Assurance Program

The New York State Sheep/Goat Health Assurance Program (NYSSGHAP) is an integrated disease prevention program that utilizes a team of advisors to develop a farm-specific herd/flock health plan. The objectives of this integrated herd/flock plan are to increase the herd’s/flock’s health, productivity, and profitability; assure food safety, public health, and consumer confidence in animal agriculture; and promote environmental stewardship. The Department coordinates with Cornell University to administer the program.


Goat & Sheep Milk

Businesses that deal with goat and sheep milk must meet certain sanitation requirements depending on whether they are a producer; producer-dealer; plant operator; or frozen dessert handler or manufacturer. No reports are necessary for goat or sheep milk.