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US: Semen merchant sued by pork farm

A pork farm in Columbia trading as Stumpf Pork Inc. has claimed that there was a substantial decline in its productivity since the end of 2004 on account of bacteria contained in supplies of boar semen.

It has filed suit against Minnesota-based Genetiporc USA Inc. which it claims breached contract for the supply of semen which contained bacteria or other abnormalities that subsequently decreased farrowing rates.

The allegedly defective semen led to an increase in non-productive sow days, decreased pregnancy rates and decreased the overall health of Stumpf Pork's herd

Genetiporc was notified by the defendant, but it advised that the problems were unrelated to the boar semen.

Stumpf attempted to rectify the situation by re-inseminating the sows and gilts, buying replacement animals and selling the under-producing/non-productive sows and gilts at lower than the market rate.

Stumpf than engaged veterinary consultants as the problem did not subside.
"The veterinary consultants concluded these problems were caused by a bacteria that was contained in the boar semen supplied by the boars owned by or in which Genetiporc had an interest," said Stumpf.

The company is now seeking over US$375,000 in compensatory damages plus punitive damages for wilful and wanton conduct.

In addition, a claim of negligence states that the defendant was allegedly aware that the semen was defective.

"Based upon these representations, Stumpf Pork incurred numerous expenses in an attempt to identify the source of the problem even though Genetiporc was aware of the source of the problem," the complaint states.

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