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 NSP Scheme

NSP Scheme Texel Origin Texel Rams used                  


The National Scrapie Plan (NSP) for Great Britain.

We are members of the National Scrapie Plan (NSP) for Great Britain. The aim is to reduce and eventually eliminate Scrapie from the national sheep flock.

Scrapie is a brain disease of sheep and goats. It has been present in this country (and many others) for well over 200 years. There are many clinical  signs and most affected animals show some of these, many months or years after the animal has become infected. Most cases of Scrapie occur in sheep between the ages of two and five years.

With the Genotyping Scheme for purebred registered flocks it is possible to identify whether sheep are resistant or susceptible to Scrapie, by testing blood, semen or tissue.

The table shows 15 genotypes known to occur in sheep and their resistance or susceptibility to Scrapie.

ARR/ARR (R1) Sheep that are genetically most resistant to Scrapie
ARR/AHQ ARR/ARH ARR/ARQ (R2) Sheep that are genetically resistant to Scrapie, but will need careful selection when used for further breeding.
ARQ/ARH ARQ/AHQ AHQ/AHQ ARH/ARH AHQ/ARH ARQ/ARQ*        (R3) Sheep that genetically have little resistance to Scrapie but may be sold or used for breeding without restriction until the end of 2006. After this period, any Ram on a scheme farm may continue to be used for breeding for a further three years (except*) or until the end of its life (whichever is the sooner) Certificates issued show the date after which the animal cannot be sold or used for further breeding.
ARR/VRQ (R4) Sheep that are genetically susceptible to Scrapie but may exceptionally be used for further (controlled) breeding in the context of an approved breeding programme.
AHQ/VRQ ARH/VRQ ARQ/VRQ VRQ/VRQ (R5) Sheep that are highly susceptible to Scrapie and should not be used for breeding. Rams must be humanely slaughtered or castrated.

A National Scrapie Plan Certificate will be issued for each male sheep that carries a Scrapie resistant genotype.

Certificates for male sheep that do not have the Scrapie resistant genotypes will indicate a date after which the animal cannot be sold or used for further breeding.

Certificates for ewes will only issued if they carry the ARR gene (but not the ARR/VRQ (R4) genotype).

It is recognised that it will take time to change the genetic make-up of the national flock. To this end, the National Scrapie Plan will initially concentrate on promoting the use of the ARR gene and excluding the VRQ gene (which scientific research indicates is the most susceptible to Scrapie) and allow the continued use of sheep with the ARH, ARQ and AHQ genes for a limited period (See above table)

Currently available science indicates that, as a result of the National Scrapie Plan, we should see a reduction of Scrapie and eventually its disappearance from the national flock.

We have only used ARR/ARR (R1) genotype Texel Rams in our Pedigree Flock of Texel sheep (Jonsland Flock) for the 2002 breeding year.

For more information contact :

  • National Scrapie Plan Administration Centre (NSPAC)


  • Whittington Road

  • Worcester

  • WR5 2SU

  • Tel. 0845 601 4858

Latest news :

DEFRA has responded positively by announcing this consultation regarding R3 group Rams.

The Consultation proposes that the timescale for selling and purchasing rams with genotypes AHQ/AHQ, ARH/ARH and AHQ/ARH be extended from December 2004 to 2006 thus allowing another 23% of the Breed to be marketable.


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Copyright 2003 Tynybryn Farms
Last modified: 19 Nov 2013