Scrapie is found worldwide, though Australia and New Zealand claim scrapie–free status. The first case in the United States was diagnosed in 1947 in a Michigan Suffolk sheep imported from Great Britain through Canada.1

In the United States, harvest surveillance indicates a scrapie prevalence of 0.20 percent.3 Ninety-six percent of U.S. scrapie cases occur in blackface sheep breeds, primarily in Suffolks and, to a much lesser degree, Hampshires. The high number of scrapie cases in Suffolk sheep may be because scrapie was initially imported to the United States in Suffolk sheep and the lack of a method to detect infection during the long preclinical period allowed movement of infected sheep and transmission.3

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