4 June 1999

Sex selection on way

SEX-SELECTED semen and embryos, which produce calves of known sex, will be available to Cogents 3700 members in late 1999.

Cogents Tim Heywood says the technique has proved 90% accurate in field trials at the breeding companys Cheshire centre, and conception rates are now improving to an acceptable level. Single sex semen and embryos will be frozen and, therefore, availability will not be restricted by members location.

Being able to predetermine a calfs sex will help reduce births of unwanted male calves – expected to be of little value after the CPAS ends, he adds.

Cogent has been testing the sperm sorting technology following its collaboration with US biotechnology company XY Inc last year. Cogent invested over £900,000 in XYs research programme. &#42