APHIS is proposing to ease the restrictions on the importation of sheep and goat semen. The current regulations, due to scrapie concerns, restrict semen imports from any region of the world other than Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The restrictions also include provisions that the semen must be transferred to females in a U.S. flock that is participant in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program and that the semen originate from a donor animal that is participating in an equivalent program.
Under the amended regulations, imported semen would have to be accompanied by an international veterinary certificate stipulating that certain conditions are met. The semen would have to originate from a region where scrapie is a notifiable disease, where there is an effective surviellance and monitoring system, where affected sheep and goats are slaughtered and destroyed, and where a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban is enforced. Donor animals must be permanently identifed to enable traceback to the premises of origin. They must originate from a premise where no cases of scrapie have been confirmed and no clinical signs of scrapie have been observed. The donor animal must not be the offspring of a scrapie-infected dam.
Experience and research have convinced APHIS that sheep semen poses a minimal risk of transmitting and disseminating scrapie in the United States.
Federal Register: August 9, 2006 - Proposed Rule
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