Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scrapie eradication is in sight . . .

Scrapie eradication is in sight, and producers are the key to finding the last cases. There are three ways that sheep and goat producers can lead in the fight against scrapie:

Scrapie tag in sheep's left ear
  1. Correctly identify sheep and goats.
    The Scrapie Eradication Program is a mandatory program which requires sheep and goat producers, dealers, markets, and slaughter plants to officially identify certain sheep and goats. Most sheep and goats must be officially identified prior to selling them or transporting them from their place of birth. To get free official ear tags (and an applicator), call 866-USDA-TAG.

  2. Protect your flock or herd.
    There are several precautions that producers can take to minimize the risk of getting scrapie in their flock or herd:  1) Close the herd to female additions; 2) Use RR rams; 3) Remove placentas and bedding soiled by birth fluids from birthing areas right away and thoroughly clean birthing areas; 4) Buy sheep and goats from flocks that have reached the certified level of the National Scrapie Flock Certification Program; and 5) Quarantine all new animals to observe for any signs of scrapie.

  3. Report suspect sheep and goats.
    If any signs of scrapie are noticed in a sheep or goat over 18 months of age that continue for several weeks or if a mature sheep or goat dies after showing some signs, report it to your veterinarian, state veterinarian, or USDA's Veterinary Services at (866) 873-2824.
Source: Scrapie Eradication is in Sight:  You are the key to finding the last cases!, American Sheep Industry Association.

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