The monthly report for the National Scrapie Eradication Program - September 2013 - has been posted to www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/scrapie/downloads/monthly_scrapie_rpt.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the report reviews the current progress of scrapie eradication in the United States.
Since the start of Regulatory Scrapie Slaughter Surveillance (RSSS) in fiscal year (FY) 2003 through Sept. 30, 2013, there has been a 90-percent decrease in the number of positive sheep found in samples at slaughter adjusted for face color.
There were 11 new infected or source flocks reported in FY 2013 as of Sept. 30. FY 2013 is the first year since FY 2005 when a reduction in the number of new scrapie infected and source flocks was not observed. Now that the program is closing in on the eradication effort, the numbers may vary significantly from year to year given the difficulty in measuring the frequency of uncommon events with accuracy.
Before the United States may be declared "scrapie free," remaining cases must be found. Sheep and goats that are slaughtered outside the commercial slaughter facilities are being missed in the routine scrapie slaughter surveillance. Submission of samples from sheep/goats over 18 months of age found dead or euthanized on farms is critically important. Without these submissions, scrapie-infected animals will go undetected, costing the sheep and goat industries anywhere from $10 million to $20 million annually. To learn more about submitting samples, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/scrapie/gen_submission.shtml.