Scrapie - Advisory Notes for Farmers (PB9446)

What will happen when I report that I suspect an animal has scrapie?

As explained earlier, once suspicion of scrapie has been notified to the DVM at your local Animal Health Divisional Office, a Veterinary Officer will visit to examine the animal to confirm or rule out the suspicion of scrapie. If scrapie is suspected, the animal will be humanely slaughtered by lethal injection. This may take place on the farm or holding, but the animal may be transported to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory (at Government expense) if welfare conditions allow.

Transport of live animals to the laboratory means that fresh tissues can be collected; this is very important to enable further research into the disease. Samples of brain and other tissues will then be submitted to a specialist laboratory within the Veterinary Laboratories Agency for diagnosis and research and the carcase will be incinerated. When the tests are complete you will be informed whether or not scrapie was confirmed by the laboratory examination.

If the clinical examination of the suspect animal by a Veterinary Officer is inconclusive, the suspect animal will be placed under a movement restriction on the farm where it is examined. These restrictions will remain in place for up to 28 days. The suspect animal is not required to be isolated from other animals unless it is likely to give birth while under restriction. The animal will be seen again by the Veterinary Officer within a few days.

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