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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 2. Agriculture
Agency 5. Department of Agriculture And Consumer Services
Chapter 206. Regulation for Scrapie Eradication
10/5/2022

2VAC5-206-20. Identification of sheep and goats in commerce.

Each animal is required to be officially identified as to its flock of origin and for any animal born after January 1, 2002, to its flock of birth if not the same as its flock of origin, prior to change of ownership or exhibition.

No person shall apply an official USDA tag or premises identification number or brand or official registry tattoo to an animal that did not originate on the premises to which the number has been officially assigned. No person may remove or tamper with any means of identification required to be on sheep or goats.

Any sheep or goat that is bartered, leased, traded, loaned, sold, exhibited, or otherwise moved from one management to another shall be deemed to have undergone a change of ownership for the purpose of this regulation. The buyer, seller, and any dealer or market operator shall keep a record of all changes of ownership for a minimum of five years. Any sheep or goat that loses its identification, that was applied at its flock of origin for exhibition or change of ownership, shall be identified by the person in control or possession of the animal prior to its commingling with any other animals. The buyer, seller, and any dealer or market operator shall be equally responsible for maintaining the required record, which shall be made available on request by the State Veterinarian or his designee.

Any out-of-state sheep or goats that are offered for sale in an approved Virginia livestock market that have not previously been identified must be (i) identified with an official USDA tag on arrival and prior to commingling with any other sheep or goats with all information recorded as required for change of ownership or meet the importation requirements; or (ii) returned to the state of origin.

Animals required to be officially identified include:

1. All breeding sheep and goats that are not in slaughter channels except low-risk commercial goats.

2. All sexually intact animals for exhibition.

3. All sheep over 18 months of age, including wethers, and those in slaughter channels unless moving as a group described below.

4. All exposed and high-risk animals including all low-risk exposed animals, genetically susceptible exposed animals, genetically less susceptible exposed animals, and genetically resistant exposed sheep.

5. All suspect and test-positive animals.

6 Animals from noncompliant flocks.

7. Breeding goats, except low-risk commercial goats.

8. All scrapie positive, suspect, high-risk, or animals of any age and of any sexually intact exposed animal of more than one year of age or, any sexually intact exposed animal of less than one year of age upon change of ownership (except for exposed animals moving in slaughter channels at less than one year of age).

Animals not required to be officially identified include:

1. Slaughter sheep (sheep in slaughter channels) under 18 months (Note: If a sexually intact sheep is sold at an unrestricted sale (any sale that is not a slaughter or feeding for slaughter sale), it must be identified.).

2. Slaughter goats (goats in slaughter channels).

3. Low-risk commercial goats.

4. Castrated goats that are not suspect, high risk, exposed to scrapie, or test positive.

5. Animals shipped directly to an approved slaughter facility if the animals were kept as a group on the same premises on which they were born or used for breeding purposes and were not commingled with animals from another premises at any time, including throughout the feeding, marketing, and slaughter process. The shipment must be accompanied by an owner statement that includes the owner's name, signature, address, and phone number, date the animals left the flock of origin, the premises identification number assigned to the premises, the number of animals, the premises portion of the premises identification if premises identification is used, and a statement that the animals were either born or were used for breeding purposes on the premises to which the premises identification is assigned.

6. Wethers for exhibition and wethers under 18 months of age.

7. Animals moved for grazing or similar management reasons whenever the animals are moved from a premises owned or leased by the owner of the animals to another premise owned or leased by the owner of the animals.

Registered sheep and goats identified with official tattoos and carry the registration papers in the name of the current owner with them to a registered sheep or goat sale or exhibition or that transfer the registration by private treaty would not be required to apply tags for exhibition or sale of a registered goat sale animal. The purchaser at such sale must carry the registration papers and a completed application for registration in the name of the new owner when leaving the sale. Alternatively, legible official tattoo numbers assigned to the flock in the National Scrapie Database may be used in conjunction with an individual number unique within the flock.

Any goat or sheep undergoing a change of ownership (including exhibition and/or importation into the state) not having an official identification shall be quarantined until the requirements of this regulation are met.

In order to simplify identification requirements, livestock markets or sale/show managers may require that all animals be identified with official USDA tags.

Statutory Authority

§§ 3.2-6001, 3.2-6002 and 3.2-6004 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 25, eff. October 3, 2008.

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