|About the Flock
The sheep flock is of the Cheviot breed which is known for their extreme hardiness, disease resistance and smaller size. The adult males are usually between 160-180 lbs whereas adult females are 140-160 lbs. Females mature early, lamb easily and have strong maternal instincts. These breed characteristics make them an excellent animal model to be used in agricultural and biomedical sciences. The production flock is genotype tested to determine individual animal susceptibility and resistance to scrapie. Ovis produces both highly susceptible (genotype: QQ) and resistant (genotypes QR, RR) sheep for scrapie research purposes.
Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance Program
Ovis has implemented the Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance Program developed by the American Sheep Industry Association. The mission of the Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance Program is to maximize customer's confidence in, and acceptance of, sheep products. Ovis uses this program to ensure that customers have sheep that are healthy, safe and of the highest possible quality. Ovis has acquired Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance Program certification and verification.
As part of the Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance Program, Ovis has implemented biosecurity procedures to prevent introduction and/or transmission of animal and zoonotic disease of concern. Ovis has undergone extensive monitoring and testing and continues to be monitored and tested for select disease free status. Selected diseases being monitored and tested are:
Ovine progressive pneumonia
Scrapie (Certified Free*)
National Scrapie Eradication Program
Ovis has volunteered to participate in the National Scrapie Eradication Program and compliance is mandatory for enrolled sheep producers. The program, which is supported by the USDA, Animal and Plant Inspection Service, (APHIS), Veterinary Services, provides standards and procedures that will identify, monitor, control, and eradicate scrapie. Ovis (flock ID: SD02) was certified scrapie-free as of February 2000.
Ovis uses a valid Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship to ensure the focus of the pathogen reduction is maintained. The relationship consists of an attending veterinarian, a regulatory veterinarian(s), a veterinarian epidemiologist, a veterinarian pathologist and a sheep extension specialist. They provide Ovis with professional services for maintaining the health and well being of the flock.
USDA Registered Research Facility
Ovis is a registered research facility (46-R-0007) under the USDA-APHIS- Animal Welfare Act5. Ovis uses "Best Management Practices" to ensure the health and well being of the sheep. Ovis uses the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching by Federation of Animal Science Societies and Sheep Management and Care by American Sheep Industry for information on sheep husbandry and care.
Sheep Management Plan
Ovis has developed a written site specific Sheep Management Plan complete with programs, standard operational procedures (SOPs) and record keeping. In this plan, Ovis uses "best management practice" for the care and use of its sheep management to verify the individual animal's wellness and overall flock's health.