Embryo Transfer

Report of Responses to the Embryo Transfer Survey

Some 25 people responded to the Embryo Transfer Survey. Seven favored no restrictions; 13 favored restricted use; and 5, outright prohibition. Among the respondents, thirteen had five years or less experience, the remainder averaged about 15 years. Eighteen respondents owned herds of ten or less animals. This profile appears to reflect the membership as a whole.

Comments covered a variety of economic and genetic issues:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • ET is expensive, time consuming and the results are uncertain.
  • I don't want to see the same genetic concentration on the female side that AI has produced on the male side.
  • Donor and sire should be DNA tested.
  • Good and bad breeding decisions are independent of technology.
  • The cow to be flushed should be evaluated by a third party.
  • The people who can afford it don't necessarily have the best cattle.
  • Limit the number of calves sired by any one bull.
  • Implant in non-AMD cows, preserve AMD cows to produce their own calves.
  • More calves may permit more rigorous culling.
  • ET may enable those in remote areas to more easily obtain registered stock.
  • Provide for termination of ET in the future if adverse effects are identified.
  • High prices are preventing new breeders from purchasing AMD stock.
  • Our cattle only have value because of their scarcity.
  • Flooding the AMD herd with highly consanguineous animals could be disastrous.

After reviewing these results, the Directors have concluded that appropriately regulated ET should be permitted. A proposed policy to that effect, including at least DNA testing and maintenance of an audit trail, will be presented to the membership at the May Annual Meeting.

Published in The American Milking Devon News, January 2008

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