A voluntary scheme directed towards limiting the spread of caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE) during a period of rapid growth of the goat industry is described. The scheme was instituted at the request of the goat industry and formulated after consultation with the New Zealand Goat Council, the animal Health Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and representatives of the New Zealand Veterinary Association. Prior to the development of the programme, surveys of the New Zealand goat population indicated that the disease was present in few flocks, largely those containing imported goats of superior genetic merit. The scheme was instituted in 1984 to limit the dissemination of the infected goats throughout the national flock. Testing was initially performed using the agar gel immunodiffusion test (AGID) but some doubts over its sensitivity lead to the development of an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This test has proved to be both highly sensitive and highly specific and has continued to be used until the present time. As a national scheme it involves some degree of co-operation between practising veterinarians, the various goat breeders' groups and goat farmers as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries who are responsible for administering the scheme. Results to date indicate that a large number of flocks have gained accreditation but a number of people who may be regarded as commercial growers are seeking a second tier scheme to limit the disease within their flocks without achieving accreditation.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 47, , 39-42, 1987
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