This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
EU-wide scrapie controls announced
EU wide control measures to eradicate scrapie from affected farms were launched today.
Under the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme farmers with confirmed scrapie cases on their farms will either have their sheep flocks genotype tested so that those animals more susceptible to disease can be identified and removed or the whole flock slaughtered and disposed of. All goats on affected holdings will be slaughtered and disposed of.
Compensation at standard rates will be paid for animals that have to be destroyed and that cannot go into the food chain.
Alternatively farmers may have high value animals valued, at their own expense. Assistance will be given both with the genotyping and sourcing of replacement stock and towards the costs of replacement rams with the most resistant genotypes.
The TSE (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 provide powers to enforce the EU measures from today.
Farmers who report new cases of scrapie that are subsequently confirmed will be subject to the regulations and registered under the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme.
Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie said:
"Compulsory EU scrapie eradication measures came into force in Scotland today. The Scottish Executive is determined to work with our farming industry to eradicate scrapie from our national flock. For this reason we launched a voluntary scheme offering replacement of and compensation for susceptible animals in March this year.
"We are committed to driving up animal health and welfare standards in Scotland, reducing the cost of disease to farmers and enhancing the value of Scottish produce."
Scrapie is a fatal neurological disease of sheep and goats. It has been present in the national sheep flock for over 250 years but is not considered to be transmissible to humans.
There is a theoretical risk that BSE could be present in sheep, masked by scrapie, although it has not been found naturally occurring in sheep.
The EU measures are laid down in Commission Regulation 1915/2003 (Official Journal L283 31/10.2003).
Under the scheme, either the whole flock has to be culled or only the most resistant rams - NSP Type 1 - and NSP Type 1 and 2 females can be retained on the farm and used for breeding. Sheep of other genotypes must then be culled before the next breeding season.
Sheep found to carry at least one resistance conferring ARR allele can go for slaughter for human consumption. Other sheep will be slaughtered and disposed of free of charge.
Only Type 1 animals (and Type 2 ewes in some cases) may be sold or used elsewhere for breeding from flocks in which action has been taken. There are also restrictions on what animals can be brought onto holdings.
Derogations to delay culling or to allow on animals not of specified or known genotypes are available in certain circumstances.
Compensation will be paid for animals slaughtered and disposed of under the scheme. The rate for adult animals will be £90 (£30 for ewes in flocks with a derogation), and £50 for a lamb (where a derogation is granted for a ram, the rate for the subsequent lamb crop is £25). Alternatively farmers may arrange valuation for high value animals by valuers nominated by the Institute of Appraisers and Auctioneers in Scotland, at their own expense.
Assistance of up to £500 may be given towards the cost of replacing a culled ram with an NSP Type 1 ram.
The Executive announced on April 5, 2004 the launch of the Voluntary Scrapie Flocks Scheme which is open to farmers on holdings that have had a confirmed case of scrapie between July 1998 and the date that the TSE (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 come into force.
Farmers still have until March 31, 2005, to apply for the voluntary scheme. Parallel legislation has been introducted today in England and is expected to be introduced in Wales this autumn.