Questions over Friesian semen

19 April 2002

Questions over Friesian semen

SEMEN buyers are feeling misled with some bulls being described as Friesian by semen suppliers when they are not pedigree British Friesians, according to the British Friesian Breeders Club.

Producers think bulls marketed as New Zealand Friesian are similar to pure British Friesian sires, says club president Brian Dalby. "But they are not necessarily the same breed."

New Zealand Friesians contain a proportion of other breeds with some bulls not classed as pedigree. Some also have a high percentage of Holstein or Jersey genetics, he explains.

"Producers must be aware that using these bulls will not give the same result as the British breed. A number have used NZ semen and have been upset as it has subsequently affected registration of cattle with the society."

In response, Miles Brown of the Livestock Improvement Company believes there is no cause for complaint. "All information used to calculate percentage Friesian is being passed to the Holstein UK society."

Holstein UK is currently trying to resolve this problem with the New Zealand pedigree association and LIC, says its chief executive David Hewitt. "We need to establish a clear definition of what is a New Zealand Friesian, when expressing % Friesian."

However, LIC are using the term New Zealand Friesian, indicating it is a different breed to the British Friesian, he adds. &#42

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