Scrapie Resources

Scrapie Resources

 Willamette Valley veterinarian, Dr. Brian Dietrich, walks you through the basics of what you can do to help eradicate scrapie in this 10 minute video scrapie tutorial sponsored by ASI’s Scrapie Outreach Program and the Oregon Sheep Growers Association.
If you are unsure whether a particular sheep or goat needs to be identified, TAG It!

In Oregon: All sheep require scrapie ID, except sheep under 18 months in slaughter channels or goats in slaughter channels. Keep your tagging, purchase and sales records for at least 5 years.

Call or e-mail Barbara Palermo to obtain free scrapie ear tags or free shipping boxes that include a pre-paid air bill to submit sheep/goat heads for scrapie surveillance testing.  503-949-5627 or


Free scrapie tags may also be requested from USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services office  Toll-Free (866) 873-2824

If you have questions about scrapie requirements, contact USDA office or Oregon State Veterinarian:

More info:  Eradicate Scrapie

Participate in Scrapie Surveillance by Submitting Samples

On-farm sheep and goats to sample include:
1) Sheep or goats older than 18 months of age that have died on your farm.
2) Sheep or goats of any age that show clinical signs of scrapie.
3) Sheep or goats that are slaughtered on your farm as follows: Black-faced or Southdown or Montadale sheep older than 18 months of age with no upper age limit;  White face or mottled face sheep 2 to 5 years of age; or Goats 2 to 5 years of age.

APHIS provides shipping boxes and labels for the submission of heads for scrapie testing at no cost to producers. Many veterinary diagnostic laboratories also accept heads for scrapie testing. To request a box or more information on sample submission, contact Barbara Palermo 503-949-5627.

To allow for Scrapie sampling, the producer or a private veterinarian would need to remove the sheep/goat head in a precise manner. USDA produced a video that shows how this is done.  Here is the link:

Scrapie Submissions Needed

ASI News, April 21, 2017

The good news for American sheep producers is that the industry has scrapie on the run. The bad news is that the current status makes carriers of the fatal disease more difficult to find.

“The incidence rate is now very low and finding the few remaining cases becomes more difficult using traditional surveillance methods,” said Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan, DVM. “The best and most appropriate method now is within flock surveillance. It is in the best interest of the industry that we sample as many adult dead sheep and goats that we can find and get them tested.”

The only diagnostic tests currently available to determine if a sheep has scrapie require brain or lymphoid tissue. Scrapie is typically diagnosed by finding abnormal prion protein accumulation in the brain and/or lymphoid tissue of infected sheep. A positive test must be confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. While no new cases of classical scrapie have been reported in the United States since April 2016, there’s still a need to be vigilant.

“If producers take this on in a serious manner and get heads to the laboratory, it will help the U.S. Department of Agriculture prove to the international community that the United States is free of scrapie, and we will finally be able to wrap up this national eradication program,” Logan said.

The best way for producers to assist in completely eradicating scrapie from American borders is to participate in APHIS’ sample submission program. The program is provided at no cost to the producer, and asks that producers submit samples from adult sheep or goats.

“Most producers don’t see scrapie as an issue in their flock,” said Diane Sutton, USDA/APHIS Veterinary Services Sheep and Goat Health Team Leader. “We’re so close to being free of scrapie, but we need to be able to demonstrate that to the world. Slaughter surveillance alone won’t get the job done.”

Federal Animal Disease Traceability Rules Affect Oregon Producers and Livestock Markets

Information from: Dr. Scott Essex, District Veterinarian for Oregon Department of Agriculture, call 503-428-7458 or email

Federal requirements for Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) became effective March of 2013. In general, there was no significant change in the requirements for interstate movement of sheep and goats as the ADT rule references existing identification regulations. The federal scrapie program regulations pertaining to sheep have required official identification of animals in interstate commerce since 2001.

The ADT rule did create an opportunity for us to revisit the importance of identification for us here in Oregon. Just remember, as a general rule, animals leaving the farm must have identification. Oregon Administrative Rules state that all sexually intact sheep and goats of any age leaving the flock of origin, which are not in slaughter channels, and all sheep over 18 months of age in slaughter channels must have official identification for within-state and interstate movement for any purpose. Regulatory compliance checks are focused on animal concentration points such as markets, dealers and slaughter facilities.

Maintaining a high percentage of identification compliance is important in maintaining the state’s “Consistent” status. This means that we fulfill all of the USDA standards including official identification requirements. Historically, Oregon has managed to fulfill all of the federal requirements to maintain its Consistent status.   In the past few years we have fallen behind in primarily the identification requirement. Loss of Consistent status results in increased requirements for interstate movement by the USDA and possible restrictions being imposed by receiving states. USDA conducted a review of Oregon’s scrapie program in 2014. We passed the review, but the importance of complying with identification requirements was the central theme of the review.

Some regions within the state of Oregon are still taking sheep and goats to livestock markets without official identification. Why would this be important you might ask? The bottom line is that livestock markets, along with the producers that consign animals, are required to officially identify them at this point of commerce. At this point the livestock market is expected to identify all animals not showing official identification. This is not really a problem on sale days with a few animals, but on busy days with hundreds of animals arriving not identified, the market is under pressure to stay in compliance. And if there happens to be an inspector at the market that day then deficiencies will be noted which reflects negatively on our Consistent state status.

Official identification in sheep and goats include flock id tags, which can be a bangle, button, or metal tag. Note that the official US shield should be present along with flock number and individual number to qualify. Other methods are the Scrapie program tags, serial ID tags, Animal Identification Number (AIN) tags, and registry tattoos.

As an Oregon producer, how can you help? If your operation involves selling sheep and goats through the livestock markets, for exhibition, or selling to out of state buyers, then please help by applying official identification before they leave your farm. Be aware of these requirements and pass on the word. This will aid Oregon in maintaining a Consistent state status. Consistent status benefits all Oregon producers. ·