For More Information Contact:
Paul Rodgers (303) 771-3500, or email@example.com
Judy Malone (303) 771-3500, ext. 35, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Denver, Colo. - The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is cooperating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to help sheep producers, who are interested, have their rams genotyped for scrapie susceptibility/resistance. Producers in states that do not have State-APHIS cooperative ram genotyping programs have until Sept. 15, 2005, or when the funds are exhausted (whichever comes first), to test up to 10 of their rams and be eligible for a cost-share reimbursement.
States that are eligible to participate in the ASI-APHIS cooperative program include: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Vermont. Producers in states not listed above should contact their state veterinarian regarding participation in their State-APHIS program.
Participation in the program is easy. Producers will need to have an accredited veterinarian collect blood samples from their rams. The veterinarian will then send the samples to an APHIS-approved laboratory along with a properly completed ?APHIS VS Form 5-29.? Producers can choose to have their samples sent to any APHIS-approved lab. A list of approved labs can be located on the ASI Homepage at: www.sheepusa.org or by calling the office.
An original form (not a photocopy) must be completely and accurately filled-out to receive a reimbursement. Original forms are issued to accredited veterinarians by APHIS and have several colored carbon pages and a unique serial number in the upper-right corner. This form must be signed by your veterinarian. Send just one of the carbon copies of the ?APHIS VS Form 5-29? to ASI (9785 Maroon Circle, Suite 360; Englewood, Colo. 80112) with a note requesting a cost-share return. ASI will, in turn, send a check for $12.00 per ram tested to the producer to help offset the cost of the test.
?The eradication of scrapie in this country is a primary goal for the sheep industry,? states Paul Rodgers, deputy director of animal health for ASI. ?This program provides financial assistance to producers who are interested in assisting with this goal by testing their rams for scrapie susceptibility/resistance.?
ASI is a national organization supported by 42 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of nearly 67,000 sheep producers.