Biosecurity Around Shearing on the Angora Goat Farm

Tuesday, 14th May 2024

Biosecurity around shearing on the Angora goat farm.

Some farmers are often unaware of the risk that a lack of biosecurity poses to their Angora flocks. It is not just about the big diseases such as Foot and Mouth (FMD) but there are many other diseases which may impact the production on your farm. 

The implementation of biosecurity protocols around shearing is not difficult and just involves a common-sense approach to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Some diseases of importance other than Foot and Mouth which farmers and shearing teams need to be aware of.

  1. Caseous Lymphadenitis (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis) is an abscesses of the lymph nodes on the side of the head or beneath the jaw in most cases.

    These abscesses are often ruptured or cut during shearing and can be spread to other goats or sheep that are shorn after the affected animal. It is therefore vital that the shearer stops to change the combs and cutters and disinfect the equipment and area. It is important farmers know how to treat an abscess and dispose of the infected material.

  2. Orf (Vuilbek) is a viral disease which causes lesions to form on the lips, around the mouth and around hooves (strawberry footrot). It can also infect humans. Orf can be transmitted to any abrasion or cut.
    Papilloma virus can be transmitted in a similar way.

  3. Pinkeye is a contagious bacterial disease of the eyes of sheep and goats that is easily transmitted when in close proximity by flies or contact.

  4. Foot abscess (Sweerklou). The same principles as per abscess (point 1).

  5. Pasteurella. Ideally goats should have been vaccinated well before shearing. With crowding, stress and exposure to elements after shearing make pasteurella a risk.

  6. Lice are easily transmitted by close contact, shears and clothing.

  7. Sheep scab (brandsiekte), although not a risk to Angora goats, can be carried from farm to farm by shearing teams.

  8. Other diseases such as Johne’s and cryptosporidiosis that can be transmitted via faecal material that be introduced by shearing teams and vehicles entering your farm.

Before shearing

  • Speak to your shearing contractor so you are aware of their biosecurity protocols and gaps there may be.
  • Clean and disinfect the shearing shed. (Examples include formalin 3%, bleach 1: 10 dilution, F10).
  • Check kraals are clean and no loose wires or sharp protrusions that may cause injury and sites of entry for pathogens.
  • Clean all equipment, shearing hand piece, combs and cutters with disinfectant such as 3-5% formalin. (some disinfectants such as bleach can be corrosive, speak to your manufacturer)
  • Shearers should have clean overalls, footwear (ideally provide these and keep them on your farm so you can ensure they are clean!
  • Disinfect vehicles and tyres coming onto your farm


At shearing

  • Shear the kids first and then young goats first before adults (any unwell goats should be isolated and shorn last)
  • Clean and disinfect hand piece, combs and cutters when you start shearing a new flock. Ideally change clothing between flocks.
  • Goats with identified abscess should be isolated treated and shorn last. If an abscess is cut the cutters/combs must be replaced immediately, area disinfected and goat treated. Infected material disposed of.
  • Treat any shearing wounds as a priority. Must be disinfected.


Record keeping of shearing to identify the potential origin or spread of a disease should be done.

© SA Mohair Growers - 2024 | Links | Biosecurity Around Shearing on the Angora Goat Farm

Website Design and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) by ZAWebs Designs | Web Hosting by ZAWebs Hosting