As of November 19, 2001, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a new regulation regarding interstate movement, identification and indemnity requirements for sheep and goats as part of the New Scrapie Eradication Program. Detailed information regarding this regulation, and about Scrapie the disease and all the aspects of the National Scrapie Program can be found on the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) website.
Scrapie Eradication Regulations
The purpose of the new identification requirements is to enable trace back of Scrapie infected animals to their flock/herd of origin. USDA has approved several methods of identification. They are premises (location) based and producer applied. Producers can use official USDA ear tags or approved breed registry tattoos (plus registration papers) for official identification. Ear tags, tattoos or microchips used by producers on the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program are also acceptable. Whichever method is used, identification records must be maintained by the producers for five years. Example of a producer identification record.
USDA is providing plastic or metal ear tags in lots of 20 or 100 with an applicator at no charge and the option to order custom tags from an approved manufacturer at the owner’s expense. Connecticut producers can obtain their flock identification numbers and order their free tags and applicators through the office of the State Veterinarian by phone, 860-713-2505 or by written application returned by mail or fax, 860-713-2548. Tags will be shipped directly to the producer from the manufacturer and will take 3 to 4 weeks to arrive.
Connecticut accredited veterinarians working with sheep and goats will also have USDA tags assigned to them to use in small hobby flocks or herds that do not have a premises identification number, or approved breed registry tattoos (plus registration papers) or other acceptable identification and require official identification for health certificates and/or interstate movement. The producer should make his veterinarian aware prior to the farm visit that his animals will need official USDA tags for sheep and goats, so that the veterinarian will have the correct ear tags on hand.
As of September 5th, 2007, Connecticut sheep and goats moving interstate, intrastate and to any shows/exhibitions are required to be officially identified. All sheep, lambs, goat and kids within the state require official identification to move off the farm. Connecticut sheep and goat owners are also required to maintain identification and change of ownership records on their animals for 5 years. We encourage all producers with sheep and/or goats to examine the options available to them, to choose the best one for their operation and to follow through, so when enforcement starts you will be in compliance.
Connecticut accredited veterinarians upon request, will be sent from the office of the State Veterinarian, serial numbered USDA ear tags in plastic or metal to use on sheep and goats, they see for health certificates without official identification or in small hobby flocks or herds that have not applied for a premises identification number. Metal cattle and swine ear tags will not be acceptable for official identification of sheep and goats. Veterinarians are required to record, maintain and forward copies of tag use to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture on a timely basis. The Department will then forward this information to the National Scrapie database. The "Sheep & Goat Tag Record for Veterinarians" has the minimal information required to identify each animal and client. This record must be maintained and available for inspection for five years by the assigned, accredited veterinarian.