Scrapie (also classified as a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) is a slow, progressive disorder of the central nervous system of sheep and to a lessor extent, goats.
- The causative agent of scrapie is a prion (a highly infectious, heat tolerant, protein).
- Goats acquire scrapie when housed with infected sheep.
- In the U.S., the reported incidence of scrapie in goats is low and when diagnosed, it has been in young kids.
- The course of infection however, is lifelong and fatal.
- Continued surveillance efforts by the USDA/APHIS has not found scrapie to be a public health or zoonotic disease risk to humans.
- Genetic testing for susceptibility to scrapie is currently being done in sheep, with similar tests underway for the got industry.
- The best management practices a producer can employ to prevent scrapie is to maintain a closed breeding goat herd of known uninfected animals, maintain good record keeping and selection within breeding stock.
For more information please visit: www.eradicatescrapie.org or http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/scrapie