Small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLV) are classical slow retroviruses causing chronic inflammatory disease in a variety of target organs. The routes of transmission have been investigated and a large body of evidence has accumulated over many years. The main routes are through ingestion of infected colostrum and/or milk, or through inhalation of respiratory secretions. However, many studies also provide evidence that intrauterine infection may occur, though the extent and significance of this route is controversial. Embryos treated to IETS standards appear to pose very little risk of infection. SRLV have been detected in semen suggesting a potential source of transmission. However, such transmission has not been demonstrated to date. The application of control measures based on this information allows more efficient strategies to be developed which will reduce the rate of transmission.