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Challis combats MOV in bighorn ram and sheep

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - There has been a bacteria roaming around in domestic sheep that can be deadly to the bighorn ram population. It is called Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae or MOV for short.

The rams receive this bacteria from getting too close to the domestic sheep. It is devastating enough for one ram to receive it, but if it returns back to the herd, it can quickly spread to the rest. Rams who have contracted the disease are usually killed off by Idaho Fish and Game before the reunion between the rams can happen.

Idaho Fish and Game and many local flock owners are now teaming up with Idaho biologists to combat the issue. Together, they are working on removing MOV from herds of sheep.

They conduct tests twice a year on each of the sheep to see if they have the disease.

Local flock owner, Steve Bauchman said, "If there was a positive we would pull it off. And if we got a second positive, then we eliminated it from the herd."

This isolation method is used to prevent contact from those with MOV and those without it to create herds that are entirely free of MOV.

For more information on the MOV project, you can contact Idaho Fish and Game at 208-334-3700.

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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.

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