3 November 1995

Ensure cover for your semen flasks

MANY dairy farmers risk losing thousands of pounds because they fail to realise farm insurance does not always cover the contents of semen storage flask.

"Equipment failure is usually covered by the flask manufacturer for the 24 months after purchase," warns vet Peter MacLaren of cattle breeding support service Sefax.

"But contents insurance is the producers responsibility – and many flask owners are not aware that semen is unlikely to be covered by existing farm policies."

To check the health of a tank, he advises monitoring how much "top up" liquid nitrogen is required to keep it at the correct level. When the quantity needed is more than normal, that could indicate that a flasks vacuum seal is on the way out, says Mr MacLaren.

Repairs to flasks are usually uneconomical.

Sefax advises semen flask owners to consider taking out insurance cover to avoid losses. However, it warns that the cost of many policies rises once the flask is over a certain age limit – which can be as low as five years.