US dairy genetics standards organization confirms safety of ‘health certified semen’ from Mycoplasma

The US auditing organization for the dairy semen collection and processing industry has issued a statement reassuring New Zealand dairy farmers of the safety of CSS ‘health certified semen’ from Mycoplasma bovis.

General Manager of World Wide Sires New Zealand, whose parent body Select Sires is a member of the US National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) welcomed the reassurance saying it provided an objective science-based perspective which farmers could trust.

“In contrast with New Zealand, where genetics companies apply their own standards to the collection and processing of bovine semen, the United States has an autonomous scientific body which provides an objective auditing service for semen and sire health and identification,” Hank Lina said.

The statement from CSS was released on 15 June and reads as follows:

Certified Semen Services, Inc. (CSS) sympathizes with the plight of New Zealand’s dairy producers as the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) acts to protect biosecurity by posting restricted notices on farms that have tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis). The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) does not list M. bovis nor does it recommend testing for this organism in either the semen or donor bull for safe international trade. Nonetheless, utilizing thorough research and testing methods, CSS instituted semen processing requirements that are effective in controlling M. bovis (and other specified potential semen borne microbes) in each breeding unit of semen. Over the past 35 years the track record demonstrates there have been no reports of M. bovis being cultured from frozen semen that has been processed according to these CSS Minimum Requirements. This historical testament to safety should provide New Zealand’s dairy producers complete confidence in using CSS “Health Certified Semen” in their herds.

Hank Lina said Kiwi farmers will welcome the reassurance.

“Until now, many of the messages about the safety of product have been driven by commercial imperatives. This reassurance, from an autonomous science based organization, provides the level of objectivity and reassurance that farmers need as they consider the upcoming dairy breeding season.”

Ends

Contact Hank Lina on 021 898 313

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