LIC bulls given all clear from M.bovis
LIC has confirmed its artificial breeding bulls are free from the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease.
LIC is a farmer-owned co-operative and the largest artificial breeding company in New Zealand. More than three out of
four cows grazing on New Zealand dairy farms are sired by an LIC bull.
Although confident the disease was not present in its bulls, the co-op announced in September it would test for the
disease to provide its farmers with greater peace of mind through the dairy mating season.
“We’ve now completed the testing and I am pleased to confirm that all LIC bulls have received negative test results with
no sign of Mycoplasma bovis,” chief scientist Richard Spelman said.
“The results are as we expected and in line with the MPI investigation which indicates the infection was limited to a
few herds within NZ.
“We are pleased to provide our farmers with the confirmation and greater peace of mind for the mating season which is
underway on farms right now.”
Yesterday marked the busiest day of that season for LIC, with 117,000 straws of fresh semen collected, processed and
dispatched to AB techs all over the country from its bull farm, collection and laboratory facilities outside of
Hamilton. A total of 4.6 million straws of fresh semen will be dispatched in the four-month lead-up to Christmas.
The PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing was done on semen samples at the co-op’s MPI-accredited laboratory in
Hamilton. Bulls that LIC currently has on its farms and commercially available this season were tested, including the
Premier Sires teams, Sire Proving Scheme, SGL and Wagyu.
From a young age, LIC bulls are permanently kept in strict quarantine, under close veterinary supervision. Collection
bulls are regularly monitored for any signs of disease to ensure that semen is only processed from healthy bulls.
Spelman said this will continue as part of normal practice.
As a result of the negative test results, he said the extra antibiotic which was being added to the semen diluent is no
longer required and will be withdrawn.