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· Breaking Dawn Ranch
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Subject: Goats - Scrapie in Mi/ From another list

Here is a update from a person in the area where the scrapie goat was located.

Sorry the next part is so long, but I just want to keep everyone apprised with correct information about Scrapies in Michigan.

Also, an update on the Michigan Scrapies issue.... Unfortunately, not all the information being disseminated is complete, and it is creating more panick than necessary... . The affected goat was a three year old nubian doe who was purchased by the owner in "port sheldon township" last summer. The goat was euthanized and tested positive. She did show all the telltale signs of scrapie including neurologic signs and a scraped, horrible haircoat. The herd the goat originated from as well as every goat that was sold by that farm in the past 4-5 years has been recovered and shipped off to Washington State University for further Scrapie research and diagnosis. If an animal that was purchased from that farm had freshened on your property, then the MDA removed the entire herd on your property rather than just the dry purchased animals.

As many of you know the only accurate diagnosis of scrapie involves examining the brain tissue of affected goats and sheep. Scrapie is transmitted by goats and sheep coming into contact with the afterbirth during kidding and lambing and is transmissable between goats and sheep in that regard and any goat or lamb that came into contact with afterbirth from goats from that farm are considered infected. By contact with afterbirth, the Michigan Department of Ag classifies that as any goat or sheep that is on your property when an animal delivers. Fortunately, the breeder kept impecable records and was able to trace back every animal they sold, and those goats and sheep were all recovered. Apparently, WSU has never had such a large group of goats to perform their testing and research.

The herd the 3 year old nubian doe orginated from traced the infection back to the purchase of a ewe from a nearby counties' 4-H livestock auction. The auction was suposed to be a terminal auction however the goat owners wanted to keep the ewe to breed and produce lambs for their own family production. I am told the seller of the lamb that was purchased was aware that the ewe was exposed to scrapies however , since it was a terminal auction she did not think there was a problem selling the animal. Unfortunately, there is a lack of slaughter houses that perform lamb butchering in Michigan and owners are quite often left to their own accord as far as finding a butcher to dress out their lambs and many slip through the cracks. Improvements have been made in my county now as far as confirming that our terminal auctions remain terminal.

According to the USDA There is no change in the transportation of animals to and from Michigan. Breeders were already required to be enrolled in the scrapies ID program and the guidelines have not changed as far as eligibility. All sexually mature animals must be identifiable either by ear tag, tattoo or microchip depending on breed and gender. Wethers do not need to be identified under the current guidelines because of their inability to reproduce.

The item we should all note is that this is a USDA program that actually worked....because of the accurate record keeping of this farm, it allowed to USDA to trace back all animals within days of the diagnosis coming to light and prevented further transmission of the disease. As far as I know, The diagnosis was made in late November of the 3 year old nubian doe, and all animals were shipped off to WSU within a few weeks. I think it's unfortunate though that the rest of the country is just hearing about it now....

The USDA is calling an Emergency meeting of Ottawa County Goat and Sheep producers in the county. We are told this meeting will be to inform and update people as far as dissinformation that has been spread about the transmission of Scrapies.
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