June 5, 2009
The World Animal Health Organization, known as OIE, in its updated Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Report on scrapie has changed its recommendations on how countries should view different types of the disease.
The chapter has been revised to include the statement, "The chapter does not cover so-called 'atypical' scrapie (as called Nor98 or Nor98-like), which is clinically, pathologically, biochemically and epidemiologically unrelated to 'classical' scrapie, may not be contagious and may, in fact, be a spontaneous degenerative condition of older sheep."
"It is good news to see that the OIE is distancing classical scrapie from Nor98-like scrapie," commented Jim Logan, DVM, chair of the American Sheep Industry Association's animal health committee. "By making this separation, a country, state or region that conducts an effective scrapie surveillance program and occasionally uncovers a case of Nor98-like scrapie need not continue to incur the regulatory burden associated with the discovery. A discovery that could previously have detrimentally affected export opportunities for that country."
The OIE is the intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide. Established in 1924, it is recognized as a reference organization by the World Trade Organization.
"This change is likely to ease the regulatory burden on the U.S. scrapie eradication program and on producers with flocks that may be identified with this condition as well as make scrapie eradication achievable in the United States," concluded Logan.
Other changes were also outlined in this chapter. The complete chapter is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/oie/downloads/tahc_oct08/tahc-scrapie77-mar09.pdf
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500