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Stackyard News Jan 09

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Changes to Scrapie Monitoring Scheme

The administration of the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme has changed. Since the beginning of 2009 the scheme has been administered by SAC through the Premium Sheep and Goat Health Scheme (PSGHS) which it operates from the office in Inverness.


swaledale ewes

Scrapie is a brain disease of sheep and goats that has been recognised for at least 200 years. It is no known threat to man. However, since BSE in cattle EU Governments have operated scrapie monitoring and eradication schemes. The UK Scrapie Monitoring Scheme has proved particularly useful to sheep or goat keepers planning to export or those seeking to raise the status of their flocks.

The scheme was previously administered by DEFRA. Those who renewed their membership last year will have certificates due to expire at various times in 2009. New certificates will be issued by SAC PSGHS, providing their flocks and herds continue to show freedom from disease.

In November 2008, DEFRA asked existing members of the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme to sign a declaration to release their information to SAC. If this has not been done, it is vital that SMS clients who are keen to remain members, contact PSGHS now.

Anyone wishing to join the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme should also contact Inverness. The rules and conditions of the scheme are published on the SAC website. It should be noted that show and sale inspections are undertaken by “Animal Health”.

Ian Pritchard, PSGHS Manager, is delighted the DEFRA SMS scheme has transferred to SAC and welcomes the members, many of whom are already members of other schemes operated by PSGHS.

Nick Clayton, veterinary adviser and advisory board member representing the goat industry says.

“SAC has the standing that is essential for international compliance with freedom from scrapie regulations. The goat industry looks forward to a close working relationship with SAC.”

Kathryn Dun, Honorary Secretary of the Sheep Veterinary Society and advisory board member, is another supporter.

“We at the Sheep Veterinary Society look forward to SAC maintaining the efficient running of the SMS and encourage all current members to renew their memberships with SAC as soon as possible."

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