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Extension Education

Shelby Filley
Regional Livestock & Forages Specialist
Oregon State University


Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. This prion disease, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, however is not a human health concern. Although it is detected at a low rate (0.016%) through routine slaughter surveillance, it causes losses of $20-25 million annually to the US Sheep Industry. In 2013, one ewe in a western Oregon flock was found to be positive for Scrapie. Because the flock was in compliance with the National Scrapie Eradication Program, requested and developed by U.S. producers to improve sheep marketability, it was recorded by USDA program administrators without local public notification. Many sheep and goat producers in the area learned of the incident by word of mouth and were disturbed; much misinformation and speculation circulated among them. An educational program (Animal Health: Biology and Control of Scrapie) was organized by OSU Extension Service with funding from an Oregon Sheep Growers Associations' Scrapie Education Grant. USDA veterinarians presented information on Scrapie, including epidemiology, genetic components, options for affected producers, concerns for neighboring ranches, and current status. Premises and Scrapie tag information along with educational pamphlets on the disease and links to the American Sheep Industry Association’s on-line “Producer’s Guide to Scrapie” were available. A light supper was served for program registrants; therefore a list exists for mailing Scrapie updates specifically requested by producers. A widely circulated article was written on the incident and the program. Participants self-reported that they were more informed, calmed, and more able to respond appropriately.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

A poster file has not been provided

Authors: S. Filley
  1. Filley, S. Regional Livestock and Forages Specialist, Oregon State University Extension Service, Oregon, 97470