How to Comply with the Scrapie Eradication Program

RFID Scrapie Tag Field Trial

Beginning in 2020, the American Goat Federation (AGF) will conduct producer field trials on RFID ear tag retention for the National Scrapie Eradication Program. These trials will involve all breeds of goats in all production environments across the United States and will encompass a 3 year period. Goat producers who have a minimum of 10 goats that are expected to remain on their property for the 3 year time period will be given an opportunity to apply to participate in the trials. AGF will select participants based on parameters required by the study.

AGF will provide application instructions with the tags and applicators to the evaluators. In most cases evaluators will be producers. The retention evaluation trial will require recordkeeping by participating producers and evaluators. Extension agents, AGF members, veterinarians or other qualified personnel may be used in cases where a producer needs assistance and RFID readers will be provided by AGF.

The data collected from this field trial will be used to estimate RFID device reliability and retention in goats with the rigor required for approval of the device as official identification for goats. This will provide assurance to the goat industry that these tags are suitable for goats and speed the industry’s transition to RFID by providing a wider range of suitable official RFID options for goats.

Each RFID tag will be evaluated in at least one large commercial goat dairy and one large commercial meat goat herd. In addition, devices will be assessed in settings with 4” woven wire fence, regular use of feed bunks or hay bunks for at least 3 months of the year, and moderate to high levels of brush a minimum of 50 goats in each of these environments, same animal may be exposed to more than one of these conditions. Further, devices will be tested in cold and hot environments as described in the ADT standards. It is planned to have three or four types of RFID ear tags included in the evaluation.

This is an important opportunity for goat producers to provide input on the type of tags that end up being used to satisfy the mandatory ID requirements of the National Scrapie Eradication Program. There will be a formal call out to producers in January, 2020. Questions may be directed to the AGF office (765-430-2075). If you meet the requirements and are interested in participating, Apply Now

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