April 13, 2007
April 13, 2007 - As of March 26, the state of Maine enacted its rule to comply with requirements for the individual identification of sheep and goats as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Scrapie Eradication Program. The passage of this regulation allows producers in Maine to continue to transport animals across state lines.
States must meet the consistent-state requirements of the national program in order to move sheep and goats in interstate commerce with minimal restrictions. To be considered a consistent state, states are required to develop and maintain an effective scrapie-control program where it enforces intrastate movement regulations that require individual animal identification upon change-of-ownership for sexually intact sheep and goats.
This change-of-ownership identification requirement allows for scrapie-infected and exposed sheep and goats to be traced back to their flock of origin. It is a vital step to help producers ensure that the sheep in Maine remain free of scrapie.
"The use of animal identification programs has been effective in working toward the eradication of animal diseases in the United States," stated Donald Hoenig, VMD, state veterinarian for Maine. "The scrapie eradication program has been a big plus in helping to reduce a disease that has plagued the sheep industry for a very long time."
Read more about Maine's move to consistent state status in the May edition of the Sheep Industry News