Atypical scrapie was discovered in a British ewe with New Zealand bloodlines. The six-year-old Cheviot ewe died on a research farm in the UK in September from an atypical form of scrapie. Atypical scrapie, like classical scrapie, is a brain-wasting disease that infects sheep and goats, but is not considered to be a human health risk.
The sheep was born in England in 2000, but British scientists believe it could have contracted the disease from its New Zealand-born sire and dam, that had been kept in strict quarantine since their arrival in Britain in 1998 and 2001. Britain's Veterinary Laboratories Agency says it is investigating where the sheep contracted the disease and whether there may be others affected.
New Zealand is considered free from scrapie.
Source: VetMed Resource, 11/17/06