Brucellosis accreditation is a voluntary system designed to provide ram vendors and their clients with assurance that purchased rams are very unlikely to be afflicted with Ovine Brucellosis.
The owner must fill out an application form, complete a farm layout sketch, and pay the application fee. Farm must have reasonably good biosecurity, ie. fairly ram proof.
All rams need permanent ID’s.
All rams over 6 months of age need to be palpated.
All suspicious rams quarantined from remainder of flock.
All suspicious rams blood tested.
All rams over 10 months of age need to be blood tested.
Vet must confirm layout/biosecurity of farm.
2 to 4 months later:
All rams on the farm previously blood tested need to be palpated and blood tested again.
For the first 3 years of accreditation:
All rams over ten months of age need to be palpated and bled.
Thereafter, and at the discretion of the Ag Department, retesting will be at either two or three year intervals.
If from an accredited farm, they must be shipped in complete isolation, and no further testing will be needed.
If from a flock with unknown status, the ram will need to be quarantined on the farm, tested within 14 days of arrival, and two negative tests at least 2 months and no more than 4 months apart will need to be confirmed
Non-accredited ewes should be isolated upon arrival and should not be joined for four months after their arrival if empty, or for four months post lambing if they arrive pregnant.
Brucellosis Key Points
- Brucellosis is a common disease of British breed rams.
- Merino rams are more resistant however they can become infected.
- We often diagnose it in commercial crossbred flocks.
- Bacteria called Brucella Ovis.
- It is totally different to Brucellosis in cows.
- It cannot affect humans.
- Lumps in the testes of rams
- Reduced fertility in rams
- Reproductive losses in ewes including abortion, still birth and small weak lambs
- Reduced lamb marking percentage.
- Rams are the source of the infection
- Rams spread it to each other through homosexual behaviour or clean rams serving a ewe after an infected ram.
- The infection stays in the ram. There is no treatment
- Ewes self cleanse and do not become permanently infected
- Your vet will palpate all rams on property and bleed them.
- If the preliminary result shows that some of your rams are infected, then all the infected rams are culled, the remaining rams are bled monthly until the disease is eradicated from your property.
Culled rams are safe for human consumption.