Monday, March 24, 2014

Scrapie Update

The February 2014 report for the National Scrapie Eradication Program has been posted to Published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the report reviews the current progress of scrapie eradication in the United States.

Sheep with scrapie (image from Colorado State University)
Since the start of Regulatory Scrapie Slaughter Surveillance (RSSS) in fiscal year (FY) 2003, there has been a 90-percent decrease in the number of positive sheep found in samples at slaughter, adjusted for face color. As of Dec. 31, 2013, the percent of cull sheep found positive at slaughter and adjusted for face color was 0.015 percent.

Eight source flocks (including two goat herds) and three infected flocks were designated in FY 2013. One source flock and three infected flocks have been designed in FY 2014.

Before the United States may be declared "scrapie free," remaining cases must be found. Sheep and goats that are slaughtered outside the commercial slaughter facilities are being missed in the routine scrapie slaughter surveillance. Submission of samples from sheep/goats over 18 months of age found dead or euthanized on farms is critically important.

Without these submissions, scrapie-infected animals will go undetected, costing the sheep and goat industries anywhere from $10 million to $20 million annually. To learn more about submitting samples, visit

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