Tagging and vaccinating sheep and goats
With an estimated 30 million animals in the sector, sheep and goat farming plays a major role in Turkish agriculture. Yet until recently there was no system in place for the identification and registration of these animals in line with EU legislation which is essential for general food traceability and, more importantly, disease eradication. Since 1992 Turkey has had numerous outbreaks of ovine rinderpest, or peste des petits ruminants (PPR), and the lack of an identification and registration system was a major factor in preventing the eradication of this contagious disease like other diseases.
The purpose of this project was to kick-start the implementation of a proper system for the identification and registration of sheep and goats in order to be able to trace their movements in line with the EU requirements and to control ovine rinderpest.
This mammoth task involved eartagging approximately 65 million small ruminants over three years to include existing and new populations and to register them in a database. The other part of the project involved vaccinating over three years approximately 90 million small ruminants against ovine rinderpest.
A technical assistance team assisted Turkey in preparing the identification and vaccination programmes, which were conducted by official veterinarians. In addition, an extensive information campaign was carried out to raise awareness among farmers of the implementation of the system and the importance of vaccination against this disease.