CONTROLS ON flocks in the Scrapie Compulsory Flocks Scheme are being relaxed to address the difficulties posed to some sectors and breeds.

The new rules allow culling to be delayed for up to five years, rather than three, in certain flocks and breeds where culling sheep of certain genotypes would create difficulties for flocks, explains a DEFRA spokesman.

 “This derogation will be available to flocks with low levels of resistant alleles or at risk of inbreeding.”

“The changes will also allow all lambs of specified genotypes to be moved from scrapie-affected units for finishing and allow the scheme”s controls to be applied to individual flocks based on the assessment of a vet.”

 The final change will allow movement restrictions to be placed on sheep and goats on farms when a case of scrapie is suspected rather than when it is confirmed.

“Where this rule is implemented lab investigations will be completed as quickly as possible, so farms can have official movement restrictions lifted without delay when test results are negative.”