LIC offers semen credit to recipients of ‘hairy calves’ genetic defect
Sept. 6 (BusinessDesk) - Livestock Improvement, the New Zealand farmer-owned company that sells bull semen and provides a dairy genetics database, said it will offer a credit for recipients of a genetic defect that caused so-called ‘hairy calves’ to be born from the offspring of the bull called Matrix.
LIC chairman Murray King said crediting the cost of all semen and inseminations from the bull responsible doesn’t amount to compensation to farmers who have the calves. There are about 900 farmers affected, with 1,500 calves carry the mutant gene.
“We stand by the decision that compensation is not appropriate but the LIC board believes that a gesture of goodwill is the right thing to do for the farmers who have daughters of the bull, Matrix,” King said. The credit would extend to all inseminations from Matrix including those that resulted in healthy offspring.
“Defects of this nature are rare – this is only the second of this type to have occurred in more than 50 years of LIC breeding more than 9,000 bulls,” he said.
LIC has recommended the animals be tested and has offered free DNA testing.
LIC shares can be traded among farmers via the NZX platform and were last at $4.90, having fallen 2 percent this year.