24 July 1998

New scrapie rules soon

NEW scrapie legislation, including a requirement for compulsory slaughter of affected animals, comes into force on July 29.

Although scrapie has been a notifiable disease since January 1993, the new regulations strengthen notification and investigation of suspected scrapie cases.

MAFF inspectors now have powers to investigate any sheep or goat on premises where they have reasonable grounds to suppose the disease is present. Where a sheep or goat is thought to be infected, an official movement restriction order will be placed upon it before further investigation, says MAFF.

Where scrapie cant be ruled out, animals will be slaughtered by MAFF, whose vets will then be responsible for clinically diagnosing scrapie and carcass disposal.

Compensation for animals where the disease is confirmed will be based on average cull values, but where the disease is not found, producers will be compensated at the animals market value, up to a maximum of £400/animal.

Further details of the new legislation can be obtained from MAFF on (0181-330 8313) or the Scottish Office on (0131-244 6177).