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Goat Scrapie Eradication and Zoonotic Disease Education

Scrapie is a serious, contagious, degenerative prion disease. The US Sheep & Goat Industries continue to suffer from lack of international markets for seed stock and products including semen and embryos due to the inability to show the international marketplace that control of scrapie in small ruminants exists in the United States. The Goat Industry is the main reason it is not possible to show control of scrapie, in part due to the industry’s fragmented nature, and in part due to the relative new nature of the meat goat industry. USDA APHIS continues to struggle to reach participants in the goat industry. Language in official rules and regulations is confusing to producers as well as allied professionals. American goat producers do not trust the government regulation and need clear and organized information that addresses the reality of their operations so they can see the benefit of compliance. Because states can make additional regulations for their state on top of the Federal regulations, people can become more confused and get discouraged. The national Premise ID program places an additional burden on sheep and goat producers due to the duplication of IDS (they not only have to contend with a Scrapie Flock ID but also the Premise ID). A multi-pronged approach will be utilized that makes use of

  • social media

  • extension educators

  • FFA Advisors

  • AGF members and advisors

  • the National Goat Consortium

  • AGF liaisons with land grant universities

  • state veterinarian offices and

  • livestock markets

to reach as many goat producers as possible. A combination of podcasts, seminar and program participation, and the distribution of flyers, posters and other materials to groups willing to dedicate specific time to education about scrapie and what compliance with the mandatory program involves.

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