Animal Artificial Insemination, A Vector for Progress
Animal artificial insemination
Animal artificial insemination was developed after the war to rebuild devastated herds of livestock. Today it is practised on a large scale in cattle and also in small ruminants (ewes, goats). The inseminator uses an insemination gun and rectal control to deposit the semen, which is packed in a straw, at the entrance to the cervix. A procedure which has innumerable potential implications both for health safety and for selection choices and the distribution of genetic progress. The traceability of the semen is completely guaranteed due to the use of barcodes.
Insemination also has a great influence on farm management by freeing the farmer from traditional reproduction constraints.It makes it possible to optimise reproduction cycles and therefore production, particularly if it is accompanied by a global service as is often the case nowadays (heat detection, observation of gestation, etc.), or if it is planned in the context of heat synchronisations. As several females can be fertilised in batches at the same time insemination is becoming economically advantageous for farms, particularly for those with small ruminants such as goats.
Without any doubt the first major advance due to artificial insemination is the health guarantee for reproduction by removing the risks caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore since the 1950s about ten diseases have been eradicated, mainly due to this new technique.
More directly, on farms artificial insemination has made it possible:
- To limit consanguinity
- To reduce reproduction costs
- To facilitate the farmer’s work
- To access high quality bulls and act directly for herd renewal
- To provide a health guarantee and traceability of semen.
Overall artificial insemination improves farming conditions and the work of the farmer considerably.