Shepherds who bit off lambs' testicles at special farming event hit by violent 'food poisoning' bug


Mouth method: A shepherd castrates a sheep with his teeth in the TV show Dirty Jobs - these are not the two men who fell ill

Two shepherds who bit off lambs' testicles as part of a special farming event were hit by a violent food poisoning bug.
The stomach-churning case was documented by the Wyoming Department of Health after it investigated the mini-outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni enteritis.
The pair, who had taken part in an event in which 1,600 lambs were to be castrated over several days, ended up with punishing vomiting and diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. One of the men was affected worse than the other and spent a night in hospital.

Normal practise: When lambs are docked they have their ears marked, their tails removed and some males have their testicles removed - usually with a sharp knife

When doctors tried to establish how the two men came to be infected with the same rare and severe bug, they ran through a long list of possibilities.
Neither men had eaten poultry or unpasteurised dairy products, which are common sources of the virus, and they did not live together or share food or water. No-one they knew became ill either.
Lab tests of the virus revealed both men were suffering from exactly the same particularly rare strain of the virus, never before recorded in the state of Wyoming, so the investigation turned to the places the men had been together.
It was later revealed that of the 12 shepherds who took part in the sheep 'docking' event, in which the tail's are also removed and the animals' ears marked, only two had used their teeth to castrate the sheep - the two men who fell ill.

source: dailymail