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Scrapie Program Information

Meet the Scrapie Eradication Program Requirements
The new federal scrapie eradication program regulations require all sexually intact sheep and goats to be officially identified before they are moved from the farm for any purpose. Scrapie is a central nervous system disease that affects predominantly sheep, but has also been known to affect goats. The disease, which is transmitted during lambing and kidding, has a long incubation period and does not affect animals until 2-5 years after exposure making the disease difficult to eradicate. There is not yet a valid test for the disease in live animals, but it can be diagnosed on animals that die of the disease. The presence of the disease prevents us from exporting sheep and goats to Australia, New Zealand and several other markets besides causing animal losses. Permanent identification of animals will help to identify flocks that have animals infected with scrapie, and will help in tracing those animals that are exposed and thus potentially infected. Right now, individual animal identification and traceability is the only way we can eradicate the disease, which will reduce animal losses and open export markets for sheep and goats.
The qualified candidate will conduct research on goat's milk cheese quality, microstructure and yield in a USDA-funded project. Develop project proposals, experiment designs and analytical procedures. Manufacture hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses during whole lactations. Monitor daily activities during cheese ripening and data collection. Analyze cheeses for sensory score, body and texture, and parameters that may affect cheese quality and yield. Establish quality characteristics and predictive models of goat's milk cheese yield.
To meet the Scrapie eradication program requirements, animals must have an official permanent identification to be sold, exhibited, slaughtered or transferred in ownership. Animals do not have to be identified unless they are moved off or onto your place, such as for exhibition, purchase or sale, or for slaughter.
Official permanent methods of identification include:
  1. Legible dairy or Boer goat tattoo when the animal is accompanied by registration papers
  2. An official USDA ear tag, obtained free of charge from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (phone 405-522-6131)
  3. Scrapie Flock Certification Program tags (for information about the scrapie flock certification program, phone 405-427-9413)
  4. For animals not suitable for eartagging, a flank or tail web tattoo with the premise ID and animal identification can be used.Contact the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (405-522-6131) for a premises ID.
Producers are required to keep the following information on all animals that they identify, purchase, or sell for five years:
  • Date animal had identification applied
  • Identification number
  • Breed, sex and age of animal
In addition, if the animal is bought or sold, the name, address and phone number of person who bought or sold the animal to or from you and the date the animal was bought or sold. For further information on the Oklahoma Scrapie Eradication Program, contact the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture at 405-522-6131 or USDA-Veterinary Services at 405-427-9413. For additional information on scrapie and the Scrapie Certification Program go to: www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/scrapie.htm.

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