I do not claim to be anything other than a retired engineer who has spent most of his life dealing with electronics. As far as sheep are concerned I am still learning.

However, one thing in particular is puzzling me and that is Scrapie testing. I understand that a provision of the Scheme as it affects Rare Breeds is that in the event of a Ram failing the test, semen can be taken and stored. I believe this is to preserve the Gene Bank.

As far as I know Scrapie is not a Sexually Transmitted Disease, (STD). Any tendency to Scrapie will be carried in the semen. So if the intention is to eliminate Scrapie, surely there is no point in preserving semen of Rams that have failed THE TEST.

So is it that the Science???? relating to Scrapie is so dubious that the Scientists??? are hedging their bets.

I'd rather keep the Ram!!.

Cheers, Ron.

postscript
... too many breeders are falling over backwards to co-operate. I've spoken to our vet and he has agreed that he will happily castrate our next years ram lambs as late as possible so that we have a chance to see how they develop. We have an elderly Shetland wether, a gift, that would have made a fine tup, but he was 'done' at birth. Shame.

They will have to force us to have them Scrapie tested.