Scrapie Federal Regulations Compliance

by Ray Hoyt, NPGA Vice President

The information in this article was obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (hereinafter referred to USDA/APHIS/VS). They have area offices across the United States that house, among other people, an Area Veterinarian in Charge and an Area Epidemiologist. For area office and contact persons information, go to:

There are three main areas of concern which must be attended to when pygmy goat breeders and owners move their “sexually-intact” goats interstate for either sale or exhibition:

  1. Federally-approved identification of all goats transported interstate;
  2. Certification of Veterinary Inspection, commonly known as a health certificate; and
  3. Possession of a Premise Identification Number

Readers should keep in mind that many states enact additional regulations which may apply when goats are moved to or through those states. Additionally, there may be a different level of enforcement of federal regulations from state to state. To determine if any state regulations might apply, the State Veterinarian should be contacted. All State Veterinarians are listed at:

Federally-approved Identification

Under the Scrapie Eradication Program regulations of 11/19/01, sexually-intact goats must have one of the following forms of identification to be moved interstate for sale or exhibition:

  1. APHIS Identification Eartags; or
  2. Registry tattoo or electronic identification accompanied by registration papers which include the tattoo number or electronic ID number as appropriate; or
  3. Approved Premises ID Tattoos; or
  4. Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Identification Eartags, Tattoos or Electronic ID.

Option 2 above is met if the NPGA-registered pygmy goat is tattooed with an NPGA tattoo and/or microchipped as shown on the registration papers. The registration papers must accompany the goats when moved interstate.

It should be noted here that enrollment in the voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program is a whole separate issue, and enrollment is not necessary to move sexually-intact pygmy goats interstate for sale or exhibition.

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection

This inspection form, commonly known as a health certificate, must have been completed within the past 30 days when the interstate movement occurs, and must be carried with the goats and their registration papers. Licensed veterinarians carry a supply of these forms.

Premise Identification Number

A Premise Identification Number, also known as a “Flock ID Number,” is obtained from an area office of USDA/APHIS/VS (see the first paragraph for information on locating the nearest area office). There is no charge to obtain this number. The area office will furnish an application form which doubles as a request form for APHIS Identification Eartags. If just a Premise Identification Number is being requested, and eartags are not desired, the eartag order may be declined. When sending in the request, be sure to ask USDA to provide notification of the Premise Identification Number assigned. When goats are moved interstate, some evidence that this requirement has been complied with should be carried.

Approval of Microchips by USDA

The USDA/APHIS/VS in Washington, D.C. has circulated an internal memo to all Veterinary Services Regions, Area Veterinarians in Charge, Veterinary Medical Officers and State Veterinarians regarding the approval of Electronic Implant Devices (EIDs) for use as official identification in the Scrapie Eradication Program. The text of that memo is quoted here:

“Goats registered with national associations that allow the use of electronic implants for official registry identification may use EID as official identification as defined in 9 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 54 and 79 if the following conditions are met:

  • The goats are registered with a national goat registry association;
  • The electronic implant number is recorded on the registration certificate accompanying the animal; and either the animal is accompanied by an implant reader that can read the implant in the animal or a certificate of veterinary inspection that lists the implant numbers and a statement that they were read and checked against the registration certificates by the accredited veterinarian signing the certificate of veterinary inspection;
  • An implant reader that can read the implant in the animal is available at the exhibition for use by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or State authorities; and
  • The movement is either for exhibition purposes or sale with transfer of the registration papers to a new owner who has a reader that can read the implant in the animal.

Such goats moved in interstate commerce to a market or for sale without registration papers must be identified with visible official identification such as an official ear tag or tattoo.”

This document is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified veterinary professional. The information provided through this document is not meant to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease, nor should it be construed as such.