Sheep genetic testing

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by shepmom, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003
    I got this via email today. No idea if this is authentic. Anybody else get this or hear about it? Is there a disease outbreak expected? I know the avian flu is a big concern crossing to humans this year.


    Sheep Breeders,

    First, I apologize if you have already received a similar email from one of
    my colleagues. We have tried to avoid overlap when contacting people, but
    some may occur.

    I work for the USDA's National Animal Germplasm Program (NAGP), which is
    developing a collection of frozen semen and embryos from all livestock
    species in order to provide livestock industries with a strategic backup of
    genetic resources that can be used in the event of a major disease outbreak,
    the formation of new strains of livestock, or performing research on
    particular genetic strains (for example, studying resistance to internal
    parasites). With sheep, this is particularly difficult due to a lack of
    commercial companies collecting and freezing semen and embryos.

    To better target and prioritize sheep breeds, NAGP is in the process of
    determining the genetic diversity between breeds of sheep. To determine the
    genetic diversity between sheep breeds, we will need to collect blood
    samples from 24 to 48 individual sheep per breed. With over 40 breeds of
    sheep in the U.S., this is a significant task and we are asking for your
    help in accomplishing this work by collecting blood samples from some of
    your sheep.

    In sampling a breed, we would like four unrelated animals per breeder
    (preferably 3 ewes and 1 ram) and have breeders that are located across the
    U.S. We would like a minimal set of information on any sheep we collect.
    The information we would request includes: breeder, animal registration
    number, sire and dam registration number, sex, animal birth date, and flock
    size. We will want to publish the information derived from this work but
    such a publication will not include information about breeders or how their
    individual animals/flocks tested. Breeders should also know that the
    information we will be deriving from their sampled animals will not be at a
    level of detail suitable for use in determining parentage. Also, there is
    no cost to the sheep owner.

    If you would be interested in collecting blood for us, please let me know
    your address and when I should send the materials for the collection. If
    you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

    Thank you,

    Carrie Welsh

    Carrie S. Welsh
    National Animal Germplasm Program
    1111 South Mason Street
    Fort Collins, CO 80521
    Phone: 970.495.3237
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    I would call your local Fed Vet and ask what is going on?

    But don't call the number they listed on that letter. Can never be too safe now a days.

    Seems really strange to me.

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Looks legit when you plug her name and title into Google. You should look into it more closely of course but I guess you must have some sheep of interest to them!
  4. jimahall

    jimahall jimahall

    Sep 18, 2005
    Found this on Yahoo search:
    Seems on the level. the phone number is a Ft Collions CO number. If you want to cooperate with the program I would call the below number and ask for Carrie Welsh. I got the below address and phone number from

    Agriculture Department - Agricultural Research Service, Great Plains System Research-Usda ARS Npa
    301 South Howes Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521
    (970) 490-8312
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    sounds like a scam to me, either total fiction or some private corporation trying to get free work, and or genetic samples from naive ranchers / farmers