In a state that leads the nation in both the sheep and goat industries and in the production of wool and mohair, eradication of Scrapie continues to be a priority for 7,000 sheep producers and a growing number of goat producers.

Since 2009, there have been no confirmed cases of Scrapie in Texas. The last big spike in was in 2006 with 9 infected herds. But while Scrapie numbers have been falling in the Texas sheep industry as a result of animal identification requirements, potential for Scrapie among the state’s goat population remains a greater concern.

Nationally, in 2005, there was a peak in Scrapie numbers in goats. In the last fiscal year, for the first time ever, there were more Scrapie field cases in goats than in sheep. In fiscal years 2008 and 2011, two significant Scrapie outbreaks occurred in goats in­volving a total of 18 positive goats nationwide.

The concern for Scrapie in goat herds has prompted USDA to consider a proposed rule that would make the identification requirements for goats similar to those currently in place for sheep, as well as possibly expanding surveillance efforts for Scrapie in goats.

According to USDA regulations, Texas must conduct adequate Scrapie surveillance in sheep by a collecting a minimum of 598 samples annually. In 2012 there were 1,050 samples collected from sheep with Texas tags.