New Zealand


Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that permanently infects the testicles and epididymis of rams, rendering them infertile. It also temporarily infects the reproductive tracts of ewes, meaning that ewes can potentially spread the infection to uninfected rams within a breeding season. Rams also pick up infection from each other in the ram paddock.

Sheep brucellosis is practically incurable, so control of the disease relies on only purchasing accredited rams.


  • Only purchase rams from vendors that are currently accredited free of brucellosis. Ask for a copy of their certificate.
  • Maintain sound fences that will prevent entry of stray rams or ewes that could spread the disease to your flock.
  • Have rams checked by a veterinarian each year to ensure they have not become infected (3 months prior to mating).