A control programme for scrapie based on selection of animals genetically resistant to this disease has been in existence in the sheep breeding industry in the Netherlands since 1998. This project is an accelerated programme to make sure that in 2004 a sufficiently large number of sheep, especially breeding rams, will be available in the Netherlands to prevent the obligatory tupping with resistant rams being a problem.
As basis for the control programme an I&R system for small ruminants was developed. From spring 2005 onwards, lambs sold for slaughter, must be sired by resistant ARR/ARR rams only, thus enhancing the safety of Dutch lamb for human consumption.
For the identification and registration of sheep, GD has developed a special computer programme (IDR) for individual animal registration. All sheep breeders participating in the programme are obliged to register each animal with GD, the costs of which are faid by the breeder. Each animal is identified (via ear tag) and blood samples are registered with a corresponding barcode, both of which are filed away in a computer database.
GD is the authorised organisation for this newly developed I&R system in the Netherlands.