It is estimated that the cost of an abortion in sheep at the end of pregnancy, which occurs with a high percentage of infectious abortions, exceeds €300, not just as a consequence of direct losses.
Also, due to the costs of maintenance and unproductivity for more than six months, the time required for animals to recover and become pregnant again in order to be productive.
| The cost of 1 abortion can exceed €300
The percentages of 3-4% of abortions in the flock, which is usually related to management, is considered normal and economically feasible on intensive farms.
The problem arises when these rates significantly increase as a result of causes not to do with management, like that which occurs when abortions of an infectious nature occur.
There are many infectious agents that can cause abortive diseases in sheep livestock, classified as viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal.
Infectious agent in sheep abortions
- In terms of viral agents, these include border disease or bluetongue disease.
- Bacterial agents include Chlamydia abortus (agent causing ovine enzootic abortion), Coxiella burnetii (causing Q fever), Salmonella Abortusovis (responsible for paratyphoid abortion), Brucella melitensis, and others with a lower incidence such as Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter fetus and Leptospira spp.
- The parasites include protozoans Toxoplasma gondii and, to a lesser extent, Neospora caninum.
- Fungal infections occur less frequently, although they can induce sporadic abortions in some species of relatively ubiquitous genera such as Aspergillus, Absidia, Mucor and Rhizopus.