The monthly report for the National Scrapie Eradication Program - October 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 Oct. 31, 2013, there has been a 90-percent decrease in the number of positive sheep found in samples at slaughter adjusted for face color. As of Oct. 31, the percent of cull sheep found positive at slaughter and adjusted for face color was 0.015 percent.
As of Oct. 1, one white-faced sheep has been confirmed positive for classical scrapie based on samples collected and reported by Nov. 15. A trace investigation to identify the positive animal's flock of origin is underway.
Additionally, in October 2013, three new flocks were designated infected. These flocks were identified through trace investigations of a positive animal detected through regulatory slaughter surveillance at the end of September.
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.