USDA Issues New Scrapie Eradication Program Record Keeping Guidelines for Markets, Dealers
New compliance guidelines to simplify record keeping for sheep and goat dealers and markets have been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) as part of the national scrapie eradication program.
The new record-keeping compliance guidelines require only standard business practices of recording buyer, seller, the number of animals, date, species and breed or class of animal. No longer will dealers and/or market operators be expected to record individual identification information unless individual ID's are inserted or replaced by a dealer or market.
The record-keeping change is important to all segments of the sheep and goat industries, says Dr. Cindy Wolf, Sheep Health Committee chairperson for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) and a small ruminant specialist with the University of Minnesota. "It allows market channels to operate normally and still be in compliance with the scrapie eradication program."
The new guidelines will not affect existing ID and record-keeping requirements for most producers. The exceptions are for owners of low-risk commercial sheep and owners of goats that have been commingled with low-risk commercial sheep. These producers may now identify their sheep and goats with an official premises ear tag rather than a registered brand or ear notch.
APHIS-VS is also expected to issue soon a new national clean-up strategy for scrapie infected or source flocks based on genotyping to determine which can be retained and which must be removed from the flock/herd.
More information on these and other topics relating to the scrapie eradication program is available on the Internet at www.animalagriculture.org/scrapie or by calling toll-free 866-873-2824.