Publication - Advice and guidance

Contagious epididymitis: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 1 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease.    

Published:
1 Oct 2018
Contagious epididymitis: how to spot and report the disease

Contagious epididymitis affects sheep and goats. Humans are not affected.

Latest situation: the disease has never been present in Great Britain.

Clinical signs

Infected male sheep (rams) may initially show:

  • fever
  • depression
  • swelling of the skin on testicles

Later they may show:

  • thickening and swelling of the epididymis – close to the testicles

Contagious epididymitis is also a cause of poor fertility.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How contagious epididymitis is spread

The disease is present in the semen of infected animals and spreads during mating.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

If contagious epididymitis is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Legislation

Contagious epididymitis is covered by the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992 and the Specified Diseases (Notification) Order 1996.

Contagious epididymitis is also covered by:

Biosecurity

Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading. The advice details practical things you can do on your farm to help prevent the introduction and spread of contagious epididymitis to and from your animals.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.