INDIANAPOLIS — Livestock producers that take their sheep and goats to a sale barn or market without a scrapie tag now must fill out and sign an owner-hauler statement.

Cheryl Miller, Indiana State Board of Animal Health veterinarian, said producers have been able to take sheep and goats to market or a sale barn in the past without a scrapie ID tag.

“They still can, but if a producer does it now, they have to fill out an owner-hauler statement,” she said.

Miller said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has an owner-hauler statement producers can fill out and take to the sale barn with them, but BOAH also is working on its own version of the owner-hauler statement form that producers also will be able to use.

Miller said some of the information that will be on the form includes producer’s contact information, flock ID number, breed type and the producer’s signature.

“If animals are hauled by someone else, the hauler’s name, address and phone number will be asked,” she said.

Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy disease that affects the central nervous system in sheep and goats and, eventually, is fatal.

Miller said the new rule went into place in April, but the USDA has allowed a grace period so states can get up to speed.

She said there will be no compliance action during the first 90 days since the rule went into place, but there will be after the time period is up.

Miller said the hope behind the new rule is that producers will tag their sheep and goats with scrapie ID tags before the animals leave the farm.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or alangreck@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.

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