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North Dakotans Reminded of Role of Genetics in Beating Scrapie

13 March 2015

US – Scrapie remains an issue in the US but efforts have “dramatically” reduced its prevalence over the last fifteen years.

Genetics are key in the battle, according to North Dakota State veterinarian, Dr Beth Carlson, who has called for dedication from all sheep and goat producers.

Writing in a North Dakota State University newsletter, she highlighted the collaborative work needed in the National Scrapie Eradication Programme, started in 2001.

“In North Dakota, our last known scrapie-affected flock completed its flock plan more than seven years ago,” said Dr Carson. “However, cases continue to be identified in surrounding states and other states that commonly ship sheep into the state.”

“Seedstock producers should continue to select for rams that are genetically resistant to scrapie. Commercial producers should purchase rams that are genetically resistant.

“We have had very good compliance with scrapie tagging requirements, but it is important that all producers continue to ensure that sheep and goats are identified with a scrapie tag when required.”

TheSheepSite News Desk

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