Animal health webinar set for July 11

The second installment of the American Sheep Industry Association’s animal health webinar is scheduled for July 11, beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time. Animal health management: How partnerships can solve big problems will take a look at the National Scrapie Eradication Program. Visit to register.

Through partnerships and hard work, sheep producers, state and federal governments, and animal health researchers created and implemented the National Scrapie Eradication Program, which has allowed the American sheep industry to nearly eradicate the disease from the United States.

Webinar agenda:

• Welcome and introduction—American Sheep Industry Animal Health Committee co-chairs Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf

• First came scrapie: A big problem with few tools to help—Dr. Linda Detwiler, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

• Then came BSE: Negotiated rulemaking and the Accelerated Scrapie Eradication Program—Paul Rodgers and Dr. Jim Logan

• Scrapie in real life: The producer perspective—Erik Mrozinski

• Where we are today—Dr. Stephanie Ringler, USDA

• Question and answer.

Dr. Linda Detwiler has been involved with the eradication program from the beginning. She will talk about what it was like in the early days when scrapie was starting to become a big problem for the industry, causing significant animal health problems and having major impacts on trade. She will also discuss how the industry had no real tools to identify or address scrapie. 

Paul Rodgers—now retired after a long career with ASI—will discuss how BSE and the unknown implications of that disease on the sheep industry catapulted scrapie to the top of the sheep health priority list and compelled the industry, USDA, states and others to enter into a negotiated rulemaking process that ultimately led to the accelerated eradication program. Dr. Jim Logan—retired state veterinarian for the state of Wyoming—will join Rodgers in this discussion.

Erik Mrozinski—an Indiana Shropshire producer—will discuss his family’s experience with scrapie, including the tools they used to eradicate it from their flock (genetics, individual identification, etc.), and how they continue to use those tools (or perhaps improved ones) to maintain a scrapie-free flock today.