Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Scrapie in France: some possible predisposing factors in the naturally-acquired disease of sheep.

Abstract

In a national survey of scrapie in continental France and Corsica over 12 years (1968-79) inquiries about diagnosed cases were made with all 2500 or more rural veterinarians and nearly 130 government veterinarians and departmental laboratories. The frequency figures tabulated represent infected flocks. About 10% of clinical diagnosis were confirmed by neuropathological examination. Frequencies under different husbandry methods were: intensive rearing, 1.4/100 000 sheep in 34 outbreaks; extensive, 1.7/100 000 in 28; semi-intensive, 2.4/100 000 in 23; and transhumance, 2.4/100 000 in 10 outbreaks. Disease frequency was 2-3 times higher in Lacaune and Caussenarde sheep used for milk production than in similar non-dairy flocks. The results show that the disease is more widespread in France than previously thought, and suggest that husbandry methods such as transhumance, pen and pasture alternation (semi-intensive) and the use of sheep for milk production may be important in disease prevalence.