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Relief for sheep and goat breeders. The risk of contracting scrapie is minimal in the Czech Republic

In mid-April, the Czech Republic received the international status of negligible risk of classical scrapie (TSE). It thus became the fourth member state of the European Union to be granted this status. For sheep and goat breeders, this means a negligible risk of this infection in their farms, and it will also make it easier for them to trade breeding animals.

Goat. illustrative photo

| Photo: Pixabay

The State Veterinary Administration (SVS) worked together with the breeders to obtain the status for eight years. The favorable contagion status entered into force on April 11. “All sheep and goat farms in the Czech Republic are now recognized as holdings with a negligible risk of classical scrapie. The Czech Republic will thus rank alongside Austria, Finland and Sweden. Other member states do not have this status,” said administration spokesman Petr Vorlíček.

The fulfillment of the conditions for recognition of the status was ensured by the veterinary administration from 2015 to 2023. This meant ensuring the examination of a sufficient number of sheep and goats for TSE annually, long-term breeding of breeding sheep for the purpose of increasing the resistance of these animals to TSE and no confirmed case of classical scrapie in the Czech Republic in the seven-year period prior to the submission of the application. In 2022, the Czech Republic officially applied to the European Commission for status. “This year, the long-term goal was achieved. In the case of trading with other member countries, Czech breeders will no longer have to apply for the granting of statuses for individual holdings in the case of breeding animals,” said SVS central director Zbyněk Semerád.

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Viper

The season of vipers and snakes has already started. Do not drink alcohol or coffee after being bitten

The movement of sheep and goats within the Czech Republic will thus be possible without restrictions, with the exception of holdings with a pronounced suspicion of TSE. Animals moved from other member states to the Czech Republic must either come from one of the three states with a negligible risk of TSE, or in the case of other member countries, they must come from a farm with a negligible risk of TSE. It is also possible to import animals with a precisely defined genotype.

“He will continue to ensure and control the fulfillment of the conditions for maintaining the mentioned status at breeders SVS. More than 3,000 sheep and goats older than 18 months will be tested for TSE annually. The carcasses of all dead, euthanized and necessarily slaughtered sheep and goats will be investigated,” added the SVS spokesperson.

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Classical scrapie belongs to a group of diseases similar to the more well-known mad cow disease. It is a neurodegenerative disease that is manifested by changes in behavior, movement coordination disorders and always ends in death. Experts consider the causative agent of the disease to be harmful proteins – prions, which attack the host organism without the immune system reacting to them, accumulate in the central nervous system and cause irreversible pathological changes.

The Czech Republic is one of the countries that in the past managed to cure animal farms from a number of diseases still occurring in other countries of Europe or the world. With the help of breeders and the consistent supervision of the SVS, it is possible to maintain a good one in the Czech Republic infectious situation. Last year, it already met the criteria for the status of a country free from rabies, bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and bovine leukosis, ovine and caprine brucellosis, infectious salmon anemia virus infection, Aujeszky’s disease of pigs in domestic pig farms, foot-and-mouth disease, plague of small ruminants, African horse sickness, classical swine fever, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, as well as the status of a country with a negligible risk of mad cow disease.

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