Electroejaculation of rams
Ratification Date: 25 Jul 2013
Electroejaculation should be used only by, or under the supervision of, a skilled operator with appropriate training and technically-advanced equipment to protect the welfare of the ram.
Electroejaculation is used to collect semen from rams to be examined as part of a clinical examination or as part of a specific artificial breeding program.
Electroejaculation has the potential to cause discomfort to the ram, especially if the equipment is deficient and the operator not fully competent. The semen collected as part of a clinical examination may yield information important to the reproductive disease status of the ram and its welfare.
Damian and Ungerfeld (2011) showed that electroejaculation does cause stress response changes in respiratory rate, haematology, biochemistry and heart rate, even in rams frequently electroejaculated. Rams do not become habituated to electroejaculation, so it is important that the operator uses techniques to minimise stress responses during the procedure.
The following guidelines should be observed for electroejaculation of rams:
- The equipment used should be manufactured for that purpose and must be maintained in correct working order.
- The electroejaculation unit must deliver the appropriate electric current.
- Rams should be adequately restrained throughout the procedure.
- If the procedure fails to produce an ejaculate after six pulses of current on any ram, it should not be persisted with on that ram.
- Comply with relevant state and territory Codes of Practice.
Cameron RDA (1977) Semen collection and evaluation in the ram: The effect of method of stimulation on response to electroejaculation. Australian Veterinary Journal, 53, pp. 380–383.
Damian, J.P., and Ungerfeld, R. The Stress Response of Frequently Electroejaculated Rams to Electroejaculation: Hormonal, Physiological, Biochemical, Haematological and Behavioural Parameters. Reproduction in Domestic Animals. Aug 2011, Vol. 46 Issue 4, p646-650.
Date of ratification by AVA Board 25 July 2013