15 June 2001

Frustrating delay for AI

DESPITE MAFF recommendations that AI technicians should be allowed to resume inseminations in infected areas, Genus says their implementation is slow and could lead to a future loss in producer milk revenues of £11m/month.

The recommendations, published by MAFF last week, say inseminator visits should be allowed in infected areas where there have been no new cases in the area for at least three weeks.

The visits would be subject to licence conditions, including sterilisation of AI guns and a requirement for inseminators to park vehicles at the farm entrance. But a MAFF spokesman said he was unable to say when the recommendations would be implemented.

But with alternatives to using AI technicians to get cows in calf problematic, further delays could have a significant impact on the dairy industry in the future, warns Genus senior vet Andrew Taylor.

Genus calculations show the restrictions affect about 5500 herds which normally use an AI technician and have no bull. This will have an adverse economic effect on the dairy industry in nine months time, through reduced milk output. "We hope the recommendations will be implemented this week," he adds. &#42