Ovine brucellosis is present in many sheep flocks in New South Wales. It occurs in all districts, in all breeds and causes considerable economic loss in many flocks, through ram wastage, low lamb-marking percentages and long drawn-out lambing seasons. It causes epididymitis in rams, resulting in infertility and sterility in some affected rams. In some flocks, it also causes abortion in a small percentage of ewes. Ovine brucellosis is caused by infection of the sheep with Brucella ovis bacteria, found in the semen of infected rams, in foetal fluids and in the mammary glands of infected ewes.
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