All posts by Nan Hassey

PACKGOAT RESEARCH Needs Your Participation

Finn_EarsTo all concerned citizens of the packgoat community: please read the following summary of an ADRU* research project to screen packgoats throughout the United States for pathogens and how you can participate. For packgoats it involves 3 serial nasal swabs and one blood test.

We strongly believe that without packgoat participation in this ADRU project we will continue to lose our access with packgoats on Public Lands.There is little hope without your participation.

Purpose: Collect nasal and eye swabs from packgoats across the United States to screen for presence of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and agents associated with “pink eye”.

Justification: Packgoat use on public lands defined as bighorn sheep habitat is being prohibited across the Western United States.  This prohibition is based on the potential that packgoats can carry a primary bacterial agent associated with bighorn sheep pneumonia, and pinkeye. In order to understand the prevalence and distribution of the bacteria of concern as well as to get a significant number of packgoats tested, NAPgA request packgoat owners from across the United States participate.  While this may not directly impact packgoat owners outside of bighorn sheep habitat, the implications of placing limitations on public land use without justification impacts us all by limiting the rights of individuals.  Beyond that, identifying carrier goats and distribution of the pathogens M. ovipneumoniae (Movi), and Chlamydia spp. (pink eye), may lead to future investigations into potential ways to clear reservoir goats of these pathogens.

There are two suggested protocols:
1.     The first is for packgoat owners that use or live in the Western US where bighorn sheep live. This involves 3 consecutive monthly nasal swabs, one blood test, and one eye swab2.     The second protocol is for packgoats outside of, or never brought into, states that are home to bighorn sheep. This involves a single point nasal swabs, eye swab, and blood test.

Please Note: All costs will be covered by ADRU to perform this prevalence/surveillance study, including veterinary charges (if applicable), supplies, shipping, and testing. All we need at this point are names, address, and number of goats. For questions see attached documents, contact Charlie Jennings, NAPgA President 435-764-1111, or vigilguy@gmail.com . To request copies of sample research documents or to participate email Nancy Clough, NAPgA Member at idahonancy@roadrunner.com  208-699-2702

What will the outcome be if this project goes forward?
The end goal will be to publish this M. ovipneumoniae prevalence data in a peer-reviewed journal (possible venues: JAVMA or Small Ruminant Research). This is a good way to not only compile our packgoat data, but to also make it accessible and referenceable for the US Forest Service Land Management Revision Teams who are making decisions to deny access to packgoats on public lands.
*Animal Disease Research Unit-ARS-USDA (Pullman, WA)

Important Links:
– Owner Information, Survey, and Goat ID form
– Sample Consent Form for Packgoat Participants
– Frequently Asked Questions
– PDF Download of Above Posted Overview

May 2015 NAPgA Newsletter

Contains information on the upcoming Rendezvous, recent FS closure activity, as well as a status update on NAPgA’s lawsuit concerning Forest Service closures. It also has a fun article about the harness goat clinic and the beach cleanup day sponsored by the Cascade Packgoat Club. To download the complete newsletter, click HERE!

March 2015 NAPgA Newsletter

Includes exciting information about the new NAPgA T-shirt and update on the GoFundMe site. There is also information about upcoming Cascade Packgoat Club events, as well as the information about packgoat closures expanding in Alaska. And finally, we have a lovely tribute to long time goat packing enthusiast George Bogdan, who passed away in January. Download the complete newsletter HERE.