Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. It is among a number of diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Infected flocks that contain a high percentage of susceptible animals can experience significant production losses. Over a period of several years the number of infected animals increases, and the age at onset of clinical signs decreases making these flocks economically unviable. Animals sold from infected flocks spread scrapie to other flocks.

The presence of scrapie in the United States also prevents the export of breeding stock, semen, and embryos to many other countries. TSEs are the subject of increased attention and concern because of the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, the link between BSE and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people, and feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE) in cats in Europe.

For additional information, visit USDA APHIS’ website – Scrapie Program


Requirements to move within Alabama:

  • ALL sheep and goats must be officially identified before a change of ownership by any method.
  • EXEMPTION: Alabama sheep and goats moving from farm directly to an in-state livestock market or slaughter establishment.

Requirements to move out of Alabama:

  • ALL sheep and goats must be officially identified.
  • Check destination state’s requirements (some states require an ICVI or owner hauler statement).

NOTE: ALL sheep and goats moving out-of-state must meet the entry and state of origin requirements prior to transport.

Movement to an Alabama Livestock Market:

  • Sheep and goats moving through a livestock market must be officially identified with visual ID (i.e. an eartag).
  • In-State: All sheep and goats arriving without official ID must provide information required for the owner hauler statement to the livestock market.
  • Out-of-State: All sheep and goats (with or without official identification) must move on an owner hauler statement or ICVI. Check with destination state.

Movement to Slaughter:

  • Sheep and goats moving from their farm of origin to a slaughter establishment WITHIN Alabama are exempted from ID requirements. Information captured within owner hauler statement must be provided to slaughter establishment.
  • All sheep and goats moving out-of-state must meet the entry and state of origin requirements prior to transport. Requires an owner hauler statement or in some states, an ICVI.
  • For more information on Alabama requirements and types of official identification, please see our Alabama Scrapie Brochure and Updated Scrapie Handout.

What is an Owner Hauler Statement (OHS) ?

An owner hauler statement is a signed written statement that includes owner’s information, hauler’s information (if different from owner), date animals moved, flock identification or premise ID number, animal information (number of animals, species and breed), point of origin name and address and destination.

Information for Show Goat Procedures

Goats that are registered with one of USDA’s approved breed registries do not require tags if not moving through a concentration point, such as a livestock market, or moving in slaughter channels. Registered goats will need to have a legible registry tattoo and accompanied by their registry certificate.

Alabama Scrapie Eradication Program

Dr. Julie Gard Schnuelle

Jacob Smithson

The Scrapie Eradication Program is mandatory for sheep and goat producers. This federal disease control program is designed to accelerate the eradication of the fatal brain disease, Scrapie, from the nation’s sheep flocks and goat herds began November 19, 2001. The program requires sheep and goats to be officially identified prior to various types of movements in-state and out-of-state. Slaughter surveillance programs are also in place and aid to find the last cases of Scrapie in the United States. The presence of official identification allows for trace back to the flock of origin of animals whose brains test positive for Scrapie. A plan can then be instituted in these flocks to eliminate the Scrapie infection. An indemnity program is in place to compensate owners for the financial loss that may incur from live animals that have to be destroyed due to Scrapie infection or exposure.

Currently, USDA is providing up to 100 plastic tags, free-of-charge, to owners of flocks/herds that have not been assigned a flock ID or been issued free tags previously. These tags are currently from Shearwell Data USA, but the tag applicator must be purchased directly from Shearwell. Tags may be ordered using this form or you may call 334-240-7215 or 615-864-5064 directly. You must obtain a flock ID to order tags. Producers also have the option to purchase their own tags from any USDA approved tag manufacturer. Information to order tags and applicator pliers are available to producers from the USDA, APHIS, VS Office.


Tags may be ordered using the following form:

You may also call 1-866-USDA-TAG (1-866-873-2824) or 615-864-5062 (direct number). Please add link to order form attached in email.


The Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program is a voluntary program available for producers. The SFCP provides sheep and goat producers the opportunity to increase the marketability of their animals through demonstrating scrapie freedom in their flock or herd. Additionally, the SFCP contributes to APHIS’ scrapie surveillance strategy, testing sheep and goats from flocks and herds that otherwise might not be sampled through traditional slaughter surveillance. For more information, please contact us at 334-240-7215 or 615-864-5062.


Please remember to keep written records of ear tags on all sheep and goats you sell or purchase. This could be very important if any animal you buy/sell is involved in a Scrapie trace back investigation. Dates of sale/purchase and names of buyer/seller are vital information. When you sell an animal you should keep a written record of the ear tag number along with the buyer information. If the animal is sold at a public auction, you only need to keep the name of the auction in your records, not the name of the buyer. The same type of records should be kept on purchased animals, i.e. ear tag numbers and who you purchased from. If a purchased animal loses the original ear tag, when you replace it with one of your own tags, you should record the old tag and indicate in your records the ear tag number that was used to replace it.

When you present sheep or goats to a stockyard for sale, you should have the ear tag numbers written down so they can be provided to the stockyard at the time of lotting in. The stockyard personnel should write the ear tag numbers on the lotting in slip along with your name and other vital information.

All records should be kept for a period of five years after the transaction occurs.

NOTE: A copy of the owner hauler statement should be maintained in your producer records and the destination (market, slaughter, etc.) records.