Scrapie tests delayed

18 July 1997

Scrapie tests delayed

SHEEP breeders keen to test stock to determine their scrapie genotype ahead of this summers sales may be disappointed.

Demand for the scrapie gene test is such that there is now a six to eight-week delay before sampling can be carried out.

"The volume of samples has been much higher than anticipated," explains Mike Dawson of MAFFs Central Veterinary Laboratory, where testing takes place.

In the last six weeks the CVL has received 4500-5000 blood samples for scrapie genotyping – twice the number received between July 94 and the end of Mar 97.

"We are taking steps to cope with the increased demand for testing, including sub-contracting work to one or two other laboratories. Our aim is get the turn-around time back down to four weeks by mid-September but we cant guarantee that," he says.n

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