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BioSecurity

Miniature-Cattle.com breeding miniature cattle Biosecurity see also: DNA Tests for Cattle

Keeping a Closed Herd

Keeping a closed herd means a breeder must initially invest a lot of time and money in getting their herd of cattle completely disease-free and healthy. They must safeguard that their cattle are kept that way, and they keep proper records to prove it. Biosecurity involves quarantine, DNA testing and repeated health testing. Keeping a closed herd means a breeder breeds his own replacements, and does not buy or bring in cattle from outside herds, due to the health risk of bringing in hidden disease. When closed herds need new bulls, they purchase certified healthy frozen semen, or they bulls with current health records that ensures the bull seller follows the same high standards of biosecurity.

A herd can become an established closed herd in a few years. Then, although the closed herd always needs vigilance and maintenance, it becomes less of a burden after the expenses level out and the investment begins to pay off--when the breeding stock becomes worth more. Cattle have a considerably higher value when they are from a certified healthy closed herd. Breeders who buy breeding stock, will pay more for cattle from a healthy closed herd.

Unfortunately, it is common for cattle sold every day, to carry infectious diseases. Some are untested carriers, or culls newly exposed (exposure can happen in 1 hour at a sale barn). Buyers of diseased cattle stand to lose $1000s of dollars, if they bring one home and put them in with their own healthy cattle. Depending upon what disease a herd comes down with, they may lose a calf crop, or the herd may need expensive, long term treatment, or in some cases, the whole herd may even need to be destroyed. To avoid that horrid expense and heartache, not to mention losing years of genetic selection, a closed herd is the only way to go.

Quarantine
(the 30 x 30 method)

Quarantine is used for newly purchased animals before joining the home herd, or, for bulls or sold cattle, while testing them before collecting semen, or selling them to other outfits.

The measures taken for quarantine is the isolation of cattle before and during health testing. It prevents potential contamination from other animals (any species that could carry any commutible diseases) from approaching within 30 feet of the isolated animal(s), for 30 days. This includes humans feeding only with clean footwear & clothing not used near other livestock, and tires of trucks that have driven near other livestock. It includes all drinking and drainage water sources, fields, facilities, pastures, tracks, paddocks, corrals or pens that are part of the quarantine area or isolation facility. None of the aforementioned potential contaminants may approach the quarantined animals closer than 30 feet, for at least 30 days. To meet quarantine requirements the isolation area must be visited and approved by an appropriate official.

SIRE TESTING
(protocols & health tests for safe semen collection)

Breed of the Bull. It may not be a popular sentiment, but the truth is, it is rare for crossbred (hybridized) bulls to have genetics worth collecting semen on, even though many miniature breeds are hybridized. Bulls collected for semen should be DNA tested for important general tests for all breeds, as well as important tests for his specific breed (or breeds). Many miniature breeds need their chondro status tested.

Quality of the Bull. Before you go to the expense of collecting a bull, be certain he is worth it. Keep emotion out of it. The bull should be more than just good, he should be an exceptional animal, to contribute to, represent and carry on his breed's best traits and genetics. He should have nearly ideal conformation. He should have a gentle, easy-going temperament. Most miniature herds and bulls have little predictability established. Bulls with inadequate records, from herds with few records, should probably not be collected until they are old enough to provide predictability through their own records. A bull should have sired several calf crops with no problems. He should establish excellence in his own and his progeny's measurable performance. Weights and heights of his calves should be measured and recorded, as well as their frame score, conformation and temperament judged. His daughters should be excellent cows.

The investment and selling semen: Below, it will quickly become clear that collecting a bull is not cheap. However, quite a bit of semen is produced from just one collection after it is extended and frozen. The price set for selling frozen semen to cow owners, should not be under-valued, nor should it be over-valued. It should be priced to reflect the true value of the bull and the genetics he provides.

The 3 main practices for semen collection: When these choices are available, the method that provides the least risk of stress and improper handling will be best. Otherwise, there can be some ejaculates that don’t survive extra stress through handling and do not make it through the processing and freezing with high enough quality.

  • On farm collection: When bulls are collected at home or; and can also be when a group of cattlemen share costs to collect several bulls. You will also have to have the battery of appropriate tests done on the bull(s), and meet isolation requirements (certified by an appropriate official).
  • One day collection: When bulls are collected at a large animal veterinary clinic, or at a semen collection facility, used by cattlemen that need only what their bull will produce on a given day. Bulls are brought in on a collection morning, collected, and then return home.
  • Long term housing: For bulls that need to fill large volume contracts and /or for semen testing certified for export.

Health Test Requirements: These are required to collect certified semen on bulls that is safe to sell. Your semen collection company should be a member of CSS (Certified Semen Services) and follow CSS health testing guidelines. When arriving at a collection facility, (or when being collected on home farm) bulls must have a current health certificate with negative test results and/or herd certification numbers for the following:

For a One-Time Collection:

  • CVI & BSE: Certified Veterninary Inspection certificate with Breeding Soundness Exam
  • Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 30+ days after test number 1
  • Tuberculosis (TB)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 60+ days after test number 1
  • Bovine Leptospirosis (5-way Lepto: L. Pomona, L. hardjo, L. canicola, L. ictero and L. grippo)
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 30+ days after test number 1
  • Bovine Campylobacteriosis (Vibrio)
    • put on a negative test schedule according to the bull's age (expect 1 x wk, for 6 weeks)
  • Bovine Venereal Trichomoniasis (Trich)
    • put on a negative test schedule according to the bull's age (expect 1 x wk, for 6 weeks)
  • Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (viremia and persistent BVDV)*
    • negative test number 1, then put in isolation / quarantine
    • negative test number 2, test again 21+ days after test number 1
      (*It is advised that you do not vaccinate any bulls for BVD which are being considered for international movement collection, as this will cause a high titer and prevent any semen export.)

For Repeated Collections: The following tests must then be conducted at 6 month intervals for bulls that are collected more than once:

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Bovine Brucellosis (Bangs)
  • Bovine Leptospirosis (L. Pomona, L. hardjo, L. canicola, L. ictero and L. grippo)
  • Bovine Campylobacteriosis (Vibrio)
  • Bovine Venereal Trichomoniasis (Trich)

Semen Collection for International Export:

CSS certified collection companies in United States can certify semen to be exported to most countries. Negative tests allow semen to export to Canada, Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. The additional tests required for certification will depend on the country of destination for the exported semen.

Collection companies in United States cannot test for movement to European countries (Europe; France, Germany, etc.).

 

Genetic Defects • www.eBEEF.org • 2014-9