Sheep (Ovine) & Goats (Caprine)

Sheep are small ruminant animals that are selected for both wool and production and meat production. Missouri sheep production is primarily in small flocks on small acreage. Sheep have become a very popular species for youth livestock projects.

Certified Brucellosis Free Herd Program for Goats

Herd certification

  1. A herd may be certified brucellosis free after it has had two consecutive negative blood tests, not less than 10 to 12 months apart. All breeding animals six months of age and over, shall be included in the test.
  2. The blood test shall be made by a deputy state veterinarian of the owner’s choice.

Herd recertification

  1. A negative herd test conducted annually is required for continuous recertification. The test must be within 30 days prior to or within 30 days after the anniversary date.

Additions to certified herds

  1. Natural herd increase.
  2. From other certified herds in Missouri or certified herds in other states without test.
  3. Purchase animals from uncertified herds must have tested negative within 30 days prior to entry, animals must move on a health certificate, must be held in isolation for 120 days, and must be re-tested at the end of this period.

Accredited Tuberculosis-Free Herd Program for Goats

Herd accreditation

  1. A herd may be accredited tuberculosis free after it has had two consecutive negative blood tests, not less than 10 to 12 months apart. All animals regardless of age, shall be included in this herd test.
  2. The blood test shall be made by a deputy state veterinarian of the owner’s choice.

Herd reaccreditation

  1. A negative herd test conducted annually is required for continuous recertification. The test must be within 30 days prior to or within 30 days after the anniversary date.

Additions to accreditation herds

  1. Natural herd increase.
  2. From other certified herds in Missouri or certified herds in other states without test.
  3. Purchase animals from uncertified herds must have tested negative within 30 days prior to entry, animals must move on a health certificate, must be held in isolation for 120 days, and must be re-tested at the end of this period.

For further information on certified brucellosis or accredited tuberculosis-free programs, contact the Division of Animal Health at (573) 751-4259 or e-mail Penny.Gottschalk@mda.mo.gov.

For further information on goats, contact the United Missouri Goat Producers at (660) 852-3222.

Scrapie

Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Scrapie has had a significant impact on the sheep industry and has caused financial losses to sheep producers across the country.

Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program

All flock owners may apply to enter the voluntary scrapie flock certification program by contacting the APHIS veterinary service office for their area. The state certification board reviews applications and approves or disapproves admission to the program. The application package includes:

Program Requirements

When participating in the program, flock owners must:

Program Categories

Complete Monitored Category

This category means that a flock is approved to participate in the program. Flocks in this category have either enrolled or certified status.

Complete Monitored Enrolled Flock

When a flock enters the program, it is assigned enrolled status, becoming a "complete monitored enrolled flock." These flocks are assigned an enrollment date (the date the state certification board approves admission to the program) and a status date. The status date is the best risk indicator for scrapie in an enrolled flock. Initially, the status date is the same as the enrollment date and will be maintained if a flock continues to meet program requirements. However, if a flock acquires animals or commingles with animals that do not meet the program standards, the status date changes to reflect the date of this occurrence. The older the date, the longer the flock has been meeting program standards.

Rams may be acquired from any flock (other than source or infected flocks), including those not enrolled in the program. Presently, there is no scientific evidence that supports rams as a risk for spreading scrapie. However, producers increase the risk that scrapie will be diagnosed in their flock when purchasing rams from non-enrolled flocks.

Ewes have been found to spread the disease. Therefore, to maintain scrapie-free status, flocks owners may obtain ewes only from other enrolled flocks with an equal or older status date. Owners acquiring ewes from flocks not participating in the program or from flocks of lower scrapie status will have their flock’s status date adjusted to reflect the addition of the lowest category animal.

Compete Monitored Certification Flock

When an enrolled flock has met program standards for five consecutive years, it advances to certified status. Sheep from these flocks are unlikely to be infected with scrapie. Flocks in this status may be augmented with rams from other certified flocks or enrolled flocks. However, APHIS, recommends that producers consider the risk of scrapie infection when purchasing rams from lesser status flocks. Ewes may be purchased only from other certified flocks.

Both enrolled and certified flocks are inspected annually by state or federal regulatory personnel. Flocks of both statuses also may loan out rams for breeding without jeopardizing their status date. The rams must reside in the program flock other than for breeding purposes and cannot be with ewes 30 days prior to and 60 days following lambing.

Selective Monitored Category

Selective monitored category is open to any flock and was designed for slaughter lamb producers to allow for scrapie surveillance in large production flocks. Only male animals over one year of age must be officially identified. Producers agree to submit for scrapie diagnosis animals that are culled from the flock or that die. (The number of animals to submit per year depends on the flock size.) Additionally, an accredited veterinarian must inspect all cull ewes for clinical signs of scrapie prior to slaughter. Selective status is maintained indefinitely, as long as the flock meets the category requirements.

Epidemiologic Investigations

If scrapie is diagnosed in a flock in any program category, animal health officials will conduct an epidemiologic investigation. The investigation will identify and trace back the source of the disease and identify exposed animals. These officials will work with the flock owners to develop and implement a flock plan. The flock plan will include depopulation of high-risk animals, reduction of risk associated with the spread of infection, and facility cleanup and disinfection.

Exhibition and Transportation Guidelines

The program standards also give guidelines for reducing the risk of scrapie exposure when sheep are at shows or transported. Guidelines include separating enrolled sheep from nonenrolled sheep by a vacant pen, barn alley, or solid barrier sufficient to prevent physical contact. Limited contact in show rings minimizes the risk of disease transmission. Enrolled sheep should not commingle with lambing ewes at exhibits or sales.

For further information, contact the United State Department of Agriculture at (573) 636-3116 or to visit www.aphis.usda.gov.

Mandatory Scrapie Eradication Program Identification Requirements

Mandatory Scrapie Eradication Program Identification Requirements
Step Requirement
1. Determine if your sheep or goats need official ear tags or other official ID to move interstate.
2. Request a flock ID number from your local APHIS Veterinary Services office.
3. Determine which of the approved ear tags or other approved ID systems will work best for you.
4. Set up a system to record the ear tags or other official IDs that are applied.
5. Apply the official ID before sheep/goats leave your premises (or arrange for application elsewhere).
6. Get a health certificate.
7. Retain records for at least five years.
8. For more information or for help call toll-free (866) USDA-TAG or (866) 873-2824.