About FE Gold

“There has been concern by some Ramguard breeders regarding the sale and subsequent misrepresentation of FE genetic stock.  This is happening where top FE genetics are potentially being diluted and the resulting progeny being presented for sale as "FE Tolerant". There is little we can do to stop this but some clients want to promote the breeders that are dosing at the top level with a brand like “FE Gold”.  Ramguard is taking on board these suggestions and is willing to look at this as a solution and is getting advice on promoting this idea.” Neville Amyes , Ramguard.
It is impossible to control genetic material. Once a ram is sold we relinquish control over how he is used and how his progeny are represented.
Only through education of our clients can we affect their purchasing decisions. There seems to be a lack of knowledge and confusion regarding the definition of FE tolerance and how it is achieved.
A group of concerned breeders has been discussing this and come up with the following:

Mission Statement:

To produce a brand that protects the investment sheep breeders have made developing the FE tolerant gene pool while providing greater clarity to the commercial farmer in regards to selecting FE tolerant rams.
A proposal has been introduced to create a FE Gold brand to be applied to breeders who have achieved the highest level of FE tolerance within their flocks. FE Gold will be open to all breeds. This is a work in progress and a steering committee has been set up composing of Perendale, Romney and Coopworth breeders. It is encouraging to have all the breeder groups working together for the good of the industry
This FE Gold would be used in conjunction with the current 5 Star system and be presented on the Ramguard certificate. With the available genetics today, rams tested for facial eczema at 0.6mg/kg of sporidesmin may be introduced and a flock may make rapid gains in tolerance as opposed to the old days where selection was the main tool and there were no rams tested at high rates to purchase to lift the flocks tolerance. However, testing still must be in place and selection must be rigorous to achieve improvements in tolerance. Heritability of FE tolerance is 0.4, so gains can be made quickly but several years of using high tested rams is still required to lift the flocks tolerance.
Read the FE Gold Charter here fegold-charter-final.docx

Ram Breeder Eligibility Criteria:

  • Testing with Sporidesmin at 0.60mg/kg
  • At least10 years of testing history
  • 10% of sale rams tested for facial eczema tolerance
  • All rams used are Ramguard tested

‘FE Gold’ steering committee will review and decide on all applications for membership. At their discretion will approve membership applications and any exceptions to the above rules, provided the purpose and brand integrity of FE Gold are maintained.


  •  New Member joining fee: $1000.00 (for brand & website costs)
  •  Annual Band Fee on number of rams sold: $800      - sell < 50 rams
    •    $1000    - sell 50 - 100 rams
    •    $1250    - sell 100 - 200 rams
    •    $1500    - sell 200+ rams
The FE Gold brand has been created to identify those breeders who are producing the top FE genetics in the country.
To date Coopworth and Romney breeders qualify to use the FE Gold brand.

Would be available to breeders if these criteria were met:
  • Testing with Sporidesmin at 0.50mg/kg or greater and sires tested have passed
  • At least 10 years of testing history to ensure there is a good level of tolerance in the flock (exceptions will be considered)
  • 10% of sale rams tested for facial eczema tolerance
  • All rams used are Ramguard tested
  • Can only be FE Silver for 5 years before graduating to FE Gold or membership will be reviewed, basically there needs to be a clear commitment to graduate from FE Silver to the FE Gold standard of a 0.6mg/kg dose rate 
The FE brand
There are several other breeds working towards FE tolerance and, while they are testing at a lower level than the FE Gold required (0.6 mg/kg), these breeders are serious about achieving tolerance and are investing seriously in the process.
Provision exists for a 'Best of Breed' leading breeder in FE tolerance whose breed is not represented already amongst the membership to also be a member, as they are unable to source better FE tolerant genetics within their breed.
Best of breed must replicate the FE Gold criteria but at a minimum of 0.4mg/kg dose level. 

The aim is to provide ram buyers with a clear picture of those breeders, of any breed, who are producing FE tolerant stock and which breeders are at the highest testing level.

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