With the launch of an AI quality standard, British farmers can be sure the semen arriving on their farms is of the highest quality possible and regularly checked.
British Pig Executive AI programme manager Angela Cliff told a meeting last week that every step in the semen collection, freezing, storage and distribution chain had been evaluated and a standard formulated for AI studs to work to.
“Issues such as collection pen hygiene and transporting semen to the stud lab have been addressed to ensure semen reaches the lab in good condition.”
After that, all further steps have been verified as well, with standards put in place for these too, including semen quality assessment, extender preparation, semen dilution and storage, she explained.
But these checks and standards are only part of the story, reckoned Cliff. “The key part of the AI process happens on-farm and while semen may arrive in perfect condition there is plenty which can happen to it after then which can render it totally or partially ineffective.”