CHILLED SEMEN TO THE USA
A question that is often asked is how successful
is AI ?
In late 1993 The AI Centre was asked to consider
the feasibility of sending chilled semen from a Suffolk Punch stallion
in Dorset for use on a mare in North Carolina, USA.
Never ones to turn down a challenge they
set about working out the logistics of the project. After meeting with
one of MAFF's Divisional Veterinary Officers and working out that the
quarantining and testing of the stallion could be done at home it was
decided that the semen would be required in May 1994. As the stallion
has to be quarantined for 30 days before semen for export can be collected
this was obviously crucial. As soon as the mare in America came into season
the stud in the UK was notified and all the necessary paperwork completed.
|The biggest single problem was
the transporting of the semen as no delivery service can guarantee delivery
over that sort of distance.
Fortunately the Americans who wanted the semen had
a fellow Suffolk Punch enthusiast who was also a pilot with American Airlines.
Although he was on leave he offered to fly to London to collect the chilled
semen in its Equitainer and hand carry it to Raleigh in North Carolina.
For further information about Equitainers
It was calculated that the mare would ovulate
over a weekend and the semen was duly collected on the Thursday evening
under the supervision of a MAFF appointed vet. The semen was extended
and placed in an Equitainer which was then sealed and delivered early
on the Friday morning to Heathrow Airport where we rendezvoused with the
pilot. By noon that day the semen was on its way to the USA.
The USDA vets at JFK Airport had been advised
of the semen's arrival and that it was vitally important because of the
time factor that it be cleared as quickly as possible. From there it was
flown to Raleigh in North Carolina and after that had a further two hour
journey by road before it reached its destination at 11 PM Friday evening
American time. The mare was inseminated immediately upon the semen's arrival.
The result of this transatlantic co-operation
was a filly foal born in April 1995 and appropriately named 'April'. This
illustrates that with the right sort of communication between the mare
and stallion owners AI most definitely does work!
|This article is kindly
provided by the AI Centre.
For further information please visit
their website -click
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Updated: October 2005.