Scrapie - Advisory Notes for Farmers (PB9446)

What about the rest of my flock or herd?

If scrapie is confirmed in a sheep or goat on a holding, there can be implications for all of the sheep and goats on that holding.

New or further cases of confirmed scrapie

From Summer 2004, new European legislation will be implemented whereby owners have to join the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme. In most cases, all of the sheep on the holding will be genotyped. Restrictions will then be applied on the sheep that can be used for breeding on the holding, or sold off for breeding or for slaughter for human consumption or that have to be destroyed, based on their relative resistance or susceptibility to scrapie. In exceptional circumstances it may be agreed with the owner that all of the sheep should be culled. Goats on the affected holding will be culled, as they are known to be uniformly susceptible to scrapie.

For flocks that have had scrapie in the past

Those flocks which have had a confirmed case of scrapie between July 1998 and Spring 2004 will be invited to join the Voluntary Scrapie Flocks Scheme which has similar but less onerous rules than that for the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme. Note – if you have a confirmed case of scrapie after the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme (CSFS) is introduced, the provisions of the CSFS will be implemented on your holding. If you are already a member of any other National Scrapie Plan scheme, that membership will be cancelled.

Please see the National Scrapie Plan web-pages for the most up to date position on both schemes (www.defra.gov.uk/nsp) or phone the NSP Helpline – 0845 601 4858.

Trading with the EU

Trading of breeding sheep and goats within the EU is subject to regulatory requirements designed to control, among other things, the spread of scrapie. The Scrapie Monitoring Scheme is designed to assist producers who wish to export breeding animals under these arrangements by offering a system that confirms that their flock/herd has been monitored for scrapie. The scheme is currently under review and therefore its requirements may change, but further details about the current arrangements can be obtained from your local Animal Health Divisional Office.

Since 1 October 2003, breeding sheep of the most resistant ARR/ARR genotype (see National Scrapie Plan Genotypes Table) can be exported even if they have come from a holding that has had scrapie within the previous three years. Nevertheless, they must have been genotyped by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) or a laboratory authorised by the Government under the National Scrapie Plan (NSP).

All other genotypes must continue to comply with the regulatory requirements, including the stipulation that no case of scrapie has been confirmed on the holding for at least three years.

However, it should be noted that, regardless of genotype, sheep and goats can only be exported to Denmark and/or Sweden if their flocks have not had a case of scrapie confirmed in the previous seven years.

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