August 29, 2008
August 29, 2008 - The National Scrapie Surveillance Plan has been posted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site.
The presence of scrapie in the U.S. sheep and goat population economically affects industry through production losses, lost exports and increased production, regulatory and disposal costs. Surveillance for scrapie in the United States is conducted through the National Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP), a cooperative state, federal and industry program.
The program's goals are to eradicate classical scrapie in the United States and to meet World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) criteria for disease freedom. Since 2002, the prevalence of scrapie has decreased significantly through existing eradication efforts, largely a result of effective slaughter surveillance.
In order to achieve the goal of eradication, efforts must focus on improving the flock-level sensitivity and increasing surveillance to find the remaining cases. This will require a transition to demographic-based surveillance and, subsequently, to flock-level surveillance. This will be accomplished by sampling apparently healthy and clinical sheep and goats at slaughter and enhancing on-farm surveillance efforts, including specifically targeting underrepresented flocks/herds and geographic regions.
Veterinary Services regional and field staff will work together to develop effective implementation plans to achieve their state-level targets, including expanding surveillance into underrepresented areas and/or flocks and herds and increasing identification compliance. Additional surveillance initiatives have been implemented or are under development to address existing gaps in surveillance. These include surveillance to establish the prevalence of scrapie in goats sent to slaughter and surveillance of export cull ewes.
The complete report can be accessed at www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/sheep
. Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500