May 4, 2007
May 4, 2007 - The Wyoming Livestock Board (WLSB) adopted new import rules on March 31, 2007, that require all black-faced ovine being imported into Wyoming for reproductive purposes to be genetically tested for scrapie susceptibility.
If the animal is found to be susceptible to scrapie, it will not be allowed into the state. Sheep 14 months of age or older that test negative for scrapie will be permitted, and if the animal is under 14 months of age, it may be imported under quarantine to be tested for scrapie, using the third eyelid test, upon reaching 14 months of age. If it tests positive, it must be ear-tagged and sent to slaughter.
This new regulation led to some question as to what genetic test will be required. At this time, one strain of scrapie appears to be predominant in the U.S. sheep population and susceptibility to that strain is largely determined by the amino acids found at codon 171. Therefore, the genetic testing of codon 171 will be used when determining scrapie susceptibility. Sheep testing with at least one arginine (R) at codon 171 will be considered resistant. All others will be considered susceptible.
"Wyoming is following the philosophy that it will take aggressive actions on the part of the industry to eradicate scrapie from the U.S. flock by 2010," commented Bryce Reece, state executive for the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.
A full copy of the WLSB import rules can be found at www.wlsb.state.wy.us/Memo/07ImpotationBlackFaceSheepJT026.pdf