Cattle genetics company Cogent has withdrawn a Belgian Blue bull from its semen programme after a number of farms experienced low conception rates.
One farmer who contacted Farmers Weekly claimed a zero conception rate from 100 cows inseminated with semen from Tamhorne Rocket.
“Cogent suggested it might be my husbandry skills, but in the previous year I enjoyed a conception rate of about 50% from cows put to Genus semen and have since used semen from Alta with a conception rate of just over 50%,” said the farmer, who preferred to remain anonymous.
As a result of his situation he has passed the matter on to an NFU appointed solicitor for further consideration.
A spokesman for Cogent confirmed the company had since withdrawn the bull from its portfolio, but could not explain why the semen had failed.
“We have tested the semen ourselves as well as having it independently tested and it has passed all the known tests.
Sometimes nature has a habit of doing strange things. However, we have since decided that it would be sensible to withdraw the animal from our programme.”
The spokesman added that Cogent is offering to supply all affected farmers with semen from a like-for-like bull free of charge.
Farmers still holding semen from Tamhorne Rocket should contact Cogent for further advice.