Ram soundness and Brucella testing
A Ram soundness examination is recommended prior to mating or sale of breeding rams. This includes palpation of the ram’s genitalia to identify any abnormalities. Based on these findings, rams are categorised as sound, temporarily unsound or permanently unsound.
In New Zealand, there is an industry based accreditation scheme to control Brucella ovis, a common cause of infertility in rams. Under this voluntary scheme, all sale rams, all rams on the farm over 15 months and any breeding rams under 15 months of age require annual testing. Additionally, all stud rams on the farm, all teasers and 20 commercial rams including any rams with palpable lesions will need blood sampling.