Camplylobacter is believed to be the leading cause of abortion in New Zealand accounting for up to 40% of diagnosed ewe abortions. Vaccinating with Campylovexin has shown to increase lambing percentages by an average of between 5 and 9%.

How do I know if my flock is affected?

Campylobacter are present on most, if not all farms. It is therefore likely to be present on your farm, even though it may not have been diagnosed or you have not seen abortions. Greater than expected losses between scanning and tailing percentages can be an indication of Campylobacter.

How does Campylobacter affect ewes and their lambs?

After initial infection Campylobacter will be present in the blood allowing the infection to invade the placenta. In some ewes the infection causes enough damage to abort the foetus (usually in the last weeks of pregnancy), in others it is thought that the damage affects the viability of the lamb, causing still births, neonatal fatalities and ill thrifty lambs.

How does Campylobacter spread?

Afterbirth and the aborted foetus of infected ewes cause pasture and water contamination, which is picked up orally by other ewes. Otherwise healthy Ewes may carry the disease for up to 18 months and infect flock mates. Newly purchased ewes can cause contamination to a previously clean flock.

Ewes should be vaccinated pre tupping. Sheep vaccinated for the first time must be vaccinated twice, four to eight weeks apart then annually in subsequent years. Pre –order vaccine at your local clinic to ensure immediate supply.