This is a common disease of rams caused mainly by the Brucella bacteria and resulting in a swelling of the epididymis, a structure lying alongside the testicle. The disease passes from ram to ram either by them serving the same ewe or mounting each other. The fertility of affected rams is often reduced and some become sterile. Most farmers control the disease by using a voluntary accreditation scheme and maintain a Brucella free flock by purchasing rams only from accredited free sources. There have been a few breakdowns over the last year with Brucellosis being diagnosed in ram flocks that were previously clear. The cause of the breakdowns have either been due to the introduction of infected rams from neighbouring properties or bought in. The worst affected flock has had over 50% of the flock infected and culled. You should take the following steps to ensure that this does not happen to your flock:
– Any strange rams entering your property should be isolated for six weeks and then blood tested.
– Ensure all purchased rams are from an officially accredited Brucellosis free flock. Sight the accreditation certificate.
– Get your rams checked well before tupping if they havent been vet inspected in the last three months.