Laparoscopic artificial insemination in small ruminants


Ratification Date: 07 Dec 2018


  1. Laparoscopic artificial insemination (AI) in sheep, goats and other small ruminants is supported provided that appropriate surgical standards and animal welfare requirements are met.
  2. Laparoscopic AI requires surgical entry into the abdominal cavity and must only be carried out by a registered veterinarian.


AI of ewes with frozen-thawed semen via the vaginal or transcervical routes is unreliable1. The use of a laparoscope to inject semen directly into the uterus is needed for reliable conception with frozen-thawed semen. Laparoscopic insemination also gives more reliable conception rates when used with fresh semen.

Laparoscopic AI in sheep and goats is an invasive surgical procedure that involves the use of prescription animal remedies. It requires high standards of skill, asepsis and analgesia to ensure that the welfare of the animal is not compromised. Veterinary expertise is necessary to recognise and manage any complications. Veterinary qualifications and registration are necessary to legally access the restricted medications used during the procedure.


The following guidelines should be observed for laparoscopic AI in sheep and goats:

The Australian Veterinary Association believes that laparoscopic insemination should be carried out by a registered Veterinarian. Where state or territory regulations allow laparoscopic AI to be conducted by lay operators, the supply of restricted veterinary medicines to the lay operator for use in the program must be strictly in accordance with the relevant state or territory laws.

The procedure must be conducted using effective anaesthesia or sedation, plus analgesia, and an aseptic technique, to ensure the welfare of the animal.

The procedure must be performed in an environment deemed by the supervising veterinarian to be suitable for such a procedure.

Only healthy non-pregnant animals should be used.

Animals that have been shown to possess genetic defects associated with poor health or welfare, should not be used in normal breeding programs.

Accurate and verifiable records must be maintained in accordance with relevant state or territory artificial breeding regulations and requirements under veterinary practice legislation.

Operators using laparoscopic AI techniques have a responsibility to maintain and regularly update their knowledge of advances in the field.


Leethongdee, Sukanya (2010). Development of trans-cervical artificial insemination in sheep with special reference to anatomy of cervix. Suranaree Journal of Science & Technology. Jan-Mar2010, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p57-69.

Other relevant policies and position statements

Embryo collection and embryo transfer

Philosophy on animal welfare and the veterinarian

Pain and analgesia

Veterinary prescribing rights

Regulation of animal health service providers

Date of ratification by AVA Board 7 December 2018