Argentina recognises that methods for the continuous monitoring
and surveillance for the presence of scrapie are still being developed and fall
short of the standards that will be expected in the future. Argentina has the
aim of continuously developing its surveillance system for scrapie using the
best practical and cost-effective methods available. These methods should be
effective and be agreed internationally in order to assist authorities to classify
countries according to their scrapie status. Argentina alongside New Zealand,
Australia and some other countries that have an enviable reputation in regard
to scrapie-freedom wishes to be in the forefront of these proposed advancements.
To this end Argentina intends to develop its monitoring and surveillance programme
- Reinforce the PrP genotyping programme to establish
the allelic variation within and between breeds and determine the relative
frequency of susceptible and resistant individuals.
- The awareness programme will be reviewed, and if necessary,
extended and modified to take account of the latest knowledge. The objective
is to ensure that no sheep or goat farmer, zoo owner, customs officer, SENASA
animal health employee, or veterinarian, now or in the future, will be ignorant
of the clinical signs of scrapie.
- Consideration will be given to establishing or improving
quarantine arrangements for imported sheep, goats and moufflon including the
use of an embryo transfer barrier technique (Bradley, 1994, New Zealand, 1997).
All imported sheep, goats or moufflon will be permanently identified as individuals
on arrival and brains examined at death.
- Zoo owners will be informed of the need to monitor
moufflon for the presence of scrapie though this is a rare occurrence even
in the country (UK) where it has been reported.
- Consideration will be given to developing the tonsil
test and also possibly the eyelid test for PrP in abattoir surveys and introducing
such tests as part of the surveillance procedure when they become validated
and when they are approved by the OIE.
- Concentrate feed prepared for ruminants will receive
increasing scrutiny for the presence of mammalian MBM. Results are proposed
to be made available to the OIE once tests are validated. Argentina wishes
to be involved in any discussions relating to the international harmonisation
of such tests.
Consideration will be given to amending the current ban on
feeding ruminant protein to ruminant animals to a ban on feeding mammalian
protein to ruminant animals.