The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) continues to work with the Texas sheep and goat industries toward the eradication of scrapie. Texas currently leads the nation in sheep and goat production. A common goal of the U.S. sheep industry and the American Sheep Industry Association is to eradicate scrapie from its borders by 2017.
To help achieve this goal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering a proposed rule that would make the identification requirements for goats similar to those currently in place for sheep, as well as possibly expanding surveillance efforts for scrapie in goats. Once the disease is eradicated, the United States would then seek recognition as scrapie-free in accordance with the World Organization for Animal Health.
Since 2009, there have been no confirmed cases of scrapie in Texas. The last big spike in Texas scrapie cases was in 2006 with nine infected herds.
According to USDA regulations, Texas must conduct adequate scrapie surveillance by a collecting a minimum of 598 sheep samples annually. In 2012, there were 1,050 samples collected from animals with Texas tags. To date, Texas has 30 participating flocks enrolled in the Scrapie Flock Certification program.
Reprinted in part from The Vindicator