There is a potential shortage of the key sheep vaccine which vaccinates against enzootic (chlamydial) abortion.

A spokesperson for Interchem told the Irish Farmers Journal that it has sourced and can supply an alternative vaccine, Ceva chlamydia, under a special licence.

Stocks are limited at this point and if farmers require any further information, they are advised to contact their vet for further details.

The two most common causes of abortion in sheep are chlamydial (enzootic) and toxoplasma abortion, according to Teagasc.

Aborted lambs, afterbirth and discharges from aborted ewes following enzootic abortion are heavily contaminated and can infect other pregnant sheep.

Ewes not in lamb and newborn female lambs, can pick up the infection from an aborting ewe and the organism will remain latent until the animal is 90 days in lamb and then become active, causing the animal to abort.

The disease can also affect a clean flock by bringing in infected sheep that picked up the infection at lambing time.

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