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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

Granting sheep and goats a free from Maedi-Visna and CAE health category

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

You can apply for the Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI) to declare sheep and goats free from the Maedi-Visna and CAE diseases.

If you keep sheep or goats, the animal premises can be added to the voluntary health monitoring programme for Maedi-Visna and CAE. You can join by submitting a written notification to your Regional State Administrative Agency. The purpose of the health monitoring programme is to monitor the occurrences of the diseases in sheep and goats as well as to prevent these virus diseases from spreading, for example, in connection to animal transfers. After joining, you are committed to ensuring that the terms and conditions of the programme are followed.

The Regional State Administrative Agency grants your animal premises a health category (1–3) based on tests and how the health monitoring is exercised. When classifying new animal premises, the decision is also based on the health category of the site the animals came from. A site is usually classified in category 2 after the first inspection visit and test results.

The health category indicates the likelihood of an occurrence of the monitored contagious animal disease at your site. Animal premises that are declared free from the diseases are classified in health category 1.

Maedi-Visna and CAE are typically asymptomatic. The symptoms develop slowly and are often detectable only after 4 to 5 years. The animal’s general health declines and respiration becomes more laboured, especially when under strain. When advanced, the symptoms include coughing, nasal dripping and the animal will breath with its neck extended. A nervous version of the disease exists, where the initial symptoms are tripping and balance disturbances in the hind legs, which eventually leads to a paralysis of the hind legs and death. Once infected, the animal will remain a disease carrier and keep spreading the disease for the rest of its life.

Do the following

  1. Learn about Maedi-Visna and CAE and the requirements of their health monitoring programme (instructions for the voluntary health monitoring of Maedi-Visna and CAE as an attachment to the entry form).
  2. Fill out the entry form as thoroughly as you can and submit it to the registry of the Regional State Administrative Agency of the area your main animal premises are located.
  3. Exercising the health monitoring is specific to each animal premises. the main premise for keeping sheep or goats, which has an animal shelter for winter, must be listed for health monitoring. Pastureland that is only used during summer does not need to be listed. Premises under the same premise ID are mainly classified in the same health category. However, you can keep animals apart in separate sites, in which case they can also be of different categories. In such cases, the different sites must be listed separately for health monitoring.
  4. Ensure that you are constantly following the terms and conditions of the health monitoring programme.

To whom and on what terms

After joining, you are committed to ensuring that the terms and conditions of the programme are followed.

Please ensure that

  1. You invite the municipal veterinarian for an inspection visit when samples of the animals are due to be collected in accordance with the health monitoring programme (at first every 12–18 months, then every 32–38 months). During a visit, the municipal veterinarian:
  • collects blood samples of sheep and goats of over 12 months old
  • checks the animals for symptoms of Maedi-Visna and CAE
  • checks that the individual identifiers and registration information are up to date
  • checks all the premises that contain animals at the time of the inspection, even though pastureland does not need to be included in the health monitoring.

You can ease the sampling by arranging the premises in a manner that makes handling the animals easier. Make sure there is enough space, light and helping hands available. To make accounting of the sampling easier, have the records of premises and animals at hand.

2. You only acquire new animals and sheep or goat embryos and gametes from animal premises that are classified in health category 1. For imported sheep and goats, as well as their gametes and embryos, please ensure that the foreign programme and animal health category is equivalent to category 1 of the Finnish health monitoring programme.

3. When in pastureland, animal shows or other such places, you do not allow your sheep and goats to get in touch with animals that are not classified in category 1.

4. You keep a record of health checks and sampling, and hold on to the health category decision and research results.

5. The labelling and registration of your premises and animals are in compliance with the valid legislation.

6. You keep the documents concerning the purchase of animals, gametes and embryos as well as documents concerning the health monitoring available, so that they can be checked if need be.

A fee is charged for the service.

The fee for the health category classification is based on the time spent. You are also responsible for other costs related to exercising the health monitoring, such as the municipal veterinarian’s inspection visit, sampling and testing. The Regional State Administrative Agency will send you the invoice of the municipal veterinarian's visit, based on an account by the veterinarian. Evira’s laboratory will charge for testing the blood samples in accordance with their price list.


The health category (1–3) is granted based on how the programme’s terms and conditions are met. After the first inspection and test results, you will receive a decision regarding your classification from the Regional State Administrative Agency, after which you can start using it.

Processing time

Depends on the peak times, usually no more than 2 months.

Period of validity

The health category (1–3) is granted based on how the programme’s terms and conditions are met. You can resign from the programme by submitting a written notification to the Regional State Administrative Agency you originally notified about joining the programme.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 9/9/2020