Faunus was the god of the forest, plains, and fields, and the Roman equivalent of the Greek god, Pan. Faunus was also the god considered to make the livestock fertile, and it is on this ground that rams are closely associated with him. On account of Faunus’ role power over fertility, many religious rites were performed using the blood and skins of goats. It is even thought that fertility rites involving whipping with goat skins were performed before formal courtship. As this handle was attached to a libation bowl, it has significant value as an object of ritual.
For more information about the meanings of animals in Roman art, see our relevant blog post: Animal Symbolism in Roman Art.