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Designing an abattoir survey to determine the PrP genotype profile of the slaughter lamb population in Great Britain - SE0244

The main objective of this research project is to design an appropriate, practical and representative sampling programme in order to estimate a defined parameter of the actual prion protein (PrP) genotype profile in the general slaughter lamb population within Great Britain. This will be achieved through the:
· definition of the appropriate parameters and population to be investigated,
· the development of a mathematical model to predict likely estimates of the parameters to be measured, and
· an integrated epidemiological and spatial approach to evaluate the population to be sampled.
The National Scrapie Plan for Great Britain (NSP) is a long-term Defra-funded programme that aims to reduce, and eventually eradicate scrapie from the national flock by the use of selective breeding for certain alleles of the prion protein. Mathematical models have been used to predict the frequency of such alleles and the effects that various breeding strategies might be expected to have if implemented under the NSP. Little, however, is known about the actual PrP genotype profile at the contact point with the consumer i.e slaughter lamb production. Validation of the model outputs, by determination of the actual situation at this end-point, would provide:
· reassurance that appropriate strategies have been adopted,
· a baseline to measure the effect of the NSP over time, and
· promote consumer confidence in the end-product (home grown lamb).
These in turn will help to:
· reduce any perceived threat to human health from TSEs in the ovine population,
· support trade in British sheep and their products, so contributing to sustainable development of rural economies, and
· improve animal health, and therefore welfare.
This research project will produce the design for implementation of any such survey, whilst also having the potential to contribute to other work, both within the research field (links into proposal submitted for R1 by VLA/RVC/IAH – lead V. del Rio Vilas/J. Guitian/S. Gubbins) and surveillance (Defra-RADAR).
Project Documents
• Final Report : Designing an abattoir survey to determine the PrP genotype profile of the slaughter lamb population in Great Britain   (3118k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2007

Cost: £234,517
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health