Scrapie ID Program
1. USDA requires that all sheep and goats over 18 months of age as well as all sheep and goat breeding stock have official USDA identification. All sheep and goats (except wethers) under the age of 18 months that are shown at fairs and expositions must also be identified. This identification system will allow animals found to have scrapie at slaughter to be traced to the flock of origin.
2. Sexually intact animals that come to fairs and shows without official USDA approved identification will not be admitted.
What you can do:
1. Obtain official USDA sheep and goat identification tags and provide them as official county identification for all sheep and goat projects. (USDA will provide tags for all sheep and goats regardless of age or gender.)
2. Provide information to assist breeding sheep and goat project members with obtaining premises identification numbers through the Pennsylvania USDA office (717-782-3442).
3. Fill out and submit the Identification Tag Request Form (Link). Tags and tagging pliers will be sent to you. You’ll probably prefer the plastic tags. Plastic tags are shipped in about three weeks and metal tags in about nine weeks.
4. Ensure that all market sheep and goat projects are tagged and recorded on a Scrapie Identification Sheet (link). If lambs or kids are already tagged with an official premises identification tag, there is no need to keep records. They have already been entered into the national database. Tattoos in registered animals may be used as identification instead of official tags but the registration certificate will have to accompany the animal during movement. Earless goats may have their premises ID number tattooed on the tail.
5. You must record flock of origin and flock of birth information for sexually intact animals born after January 1, 2002.
6. Keep copies of the completed Scrapie Identification Sheet (link) for five years. If a goat or lamb is eventually diagnosed with scrapie at the time of slaughter, a regulatory official will contact you to determine the flock of origin from your records.
Additional information about scrapie and the identification program can be found at
FAQ and other scrapie information is available at: