(Dan) Folks, welcome to the show today. I’m sure glad that you joined us. We’re going to have a great show. Dr. Charlie Brown from Accelerated Genetics is here today, where he serves as the Director of Veterinary Services. We’re going to talk about Certified Semen Services and what goes in to making sure that that Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is on every straw that you use.
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(Dan) Welcome to the show. (Charlie) Thank you Dan. (Dan) Folks, this is Dr. Charlie Brown. He is the Director of Veterinary Services at Accelerated Genetics out of Wisconsin and he’s also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Certified Semen Services. And we’re tickled to death to have you on the show. Thanks for spending time, coming down out of Wisconsin and spending time with me on the show and with our guests. What we’re going to talk about folks today, something that I didn’t know a lot about and I think you’ll find it very interesting is understanding that we are exporting cattle, embryos and semen globally. (Charlie) Correct. Yes, lots of it. (Dan) Lots of it and so talk to me a little bit about you’re the Chairman of the Board for the Board of Directors for Certified Semen Services. What are Certified Semen Services? (Charlie) Certified Semen Services is a subsidiary of the National Association of Animal Breeders, which is made up of AI companies throughout the United States and Certified Semen Services is the arm of of NAB, that provide an industry-driven set of standards and audit services so that facilities can be qualified for export internationally. (Dan) OK. What’s the difference between non-certified and certified? (Charlie) The difference is the Certified Semen Services program that most AI centers in the United States are members and participants in, sets a set of standards for health testing of bulls before they come into isolation, in isolation and in the resident herd every six months. It also has a set of standards for facilities and biosecurity and facilities management and animal welfare. (Dan) OK, so this is really kind of like a Seal of Approval for the way that your company and other companies that provide the semen services conduct animal health, biosecurity, maintaining their facilities. It’s kind of that Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for your types of companies. (Charlie) Yes and that Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is issued not only by Certified Semen Services but also USDA as that CSS seal and compliance letter that you get when you’re a participant and found to be in good standing, tells you that you’re eligible to export product internationally. (Dan) OK. Then you’re able to probably expedite exporting quickly. (Charlie) Right. What that lets you do as donor bulls come in or as your own bulls come into your program, you can position those bulls in resident herds and qualify them for exports to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, China, etc. (Dan) You’re sending semen all around the world from Accelerated Genetics? (Charlie) Yes, I would say Accelerated exports to 80 to 90 different countries annually. (Dan) And one thing that is very interesting to me you said that 90 percent? (Charlie) Yes, 90 percent of the semen that’s exported is actually produced and exported from the state of Wisconsin. (Dan) It’s not the cheese state, not just the cheese state. (Charlie) Not just the cheese state, no, no. (Dan) That’s great. Let’s take a break. When we come back, Dr. Brown is going to talk to us about what we have to do with Certified Semen Services for facilities and then we’ll get into some of the things about the bulls and the semen as well. (Dan) You’re watching DocTalk. Thanks for joining us. More after these messages.
(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson here with Dr. Charlie Brown, who’s the Director of Veterinary Services for Accelerated Genetics out of Wisconsin. We’re shooting this here at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine today. Thanks for coming down. (Charlie) Thanks for having me. (Dan) We have a mutual interest. We have a couple of gals that are pretty special to us that play basketball for Kansas State University and so whenever we get a chance to combine basketball and cattle, it’s a good day. (Charlie) Yep, it sure is. (Dan) Charlie let’s get into, you mentioned during the break that bulls have some specific requirements before they can come from a herd into one of your facilities for semen collection. (Charlie) Right. Participants of Certified Semen Services have the requirement that donor bulls before they enter their isolation facilities pass a series of tests, and those tests are specifically to prevent venereal transmission of specific diseases. On-farm testing and in pre-isolation testing bulls will be tested for Brucellosis and Tuberculosis, Leptospirosis, BVD, and in some cases Campylobacter and Trich. It depends on what state they’re coming from or what state they’re moving to, to move to that facility. For instance, our facility in Nebraska requires that bulls moving in from out of state have a negative Trich PCR test. That’s a state requirement. All the requirements sort of get stacked on top of each other as animals have to move interstate. (Dan) So these diseases like the Brucellosis and TB and potentially Trich are generally interstate movement of animals we have to have anyway, but now you’re getting into Lepto, BVD, Campylobacter that are some of those that can cause abortions, can cause some pretty severe infections in cows as well. (Charlie) Right. Those last four the Lepto, BVD, Camphylo and Trich are all potential venereal diseases and all potentially transmitted by frozen bovine semen. So, you need to test the bull and prove he’s not infected before you distribute semen. (Dan) Yea, because you don’t want to distribute that in the semen and create an outbreak or something on a farm. (Charlie) Right. (Dan) Anything else that these bulls prior to coming in…? (Charlie) They get an on-farm physical exam as well. It’s basically an abbreviated breeding soundness exam. It’s locomotion, joints are inspected, body condition’s assessed, temperature, pulse and respiration, history about any physical ailments, scrotal measurement and palpation, internal palpation of the internal reproductive tract, that’s all assessed before the bull comes in. (Dan) At what age are they doing this, generally? (Charlie) Depending on the breed and that sort of thing, we’re doing all that testing on bulls as young as six months of age. Of course you probably can’t do an internal palpation on bulls that young, but any bull that’s probably 9 to 10 months of age gets a full exam and so we’re doing that for all bulls that enter the facilities. The testing and as much of a physical exam as you can give a bull. (Dan) Then when you’re doing the testing on the different diseases like Lepto and BVD, are you taking serum samples? (Charlie) Serum and whole blood samples, yes. (Dan) OK. (Charlie) We’re looking for not only antibodies to diseases like Leptospirosis, and BVD, but we’re also looking for the actual organism, BVD virus. (Dan) This almost looks like a PCR panel that could be set up. (Charlie) It could be. (Dan) We have respiratory panels and things like that, we could almost set up a breeding panel that we could start incorporating into breeding soundness exams across the country. (Charlie) Yes, you could. (Dan) Cool. (Charlie) Some cow side, bull side. (Dan) Bull side. Folks, we’re going to take a break. When we come back more on Certified Semen Services with Dr. Charlie Brown. You’re watching DocTalk.
(Dan) Folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson, Dr. Charlie Brown. I’m with Kansas State University. He’s with Accelerated Genetics, where he’s the Director of Veterinary Services, and he’s also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Certified Semen Services. We’re talking about what we have to do for Certified Semen Services. We’ve got the bull tested on the farm. It’s not going to move into isolation in a facility. (Charlie) Right. When those bulls come in they come into an isolation facility or barn that’s held separate from the resident herd. It’s separate by some distance. It’s separate by equipment and by staff as far as coveralls and boots, so they are truly an isolation facility. While they’re in that facility those bulls go through a prescribed set of tests to reconfirm that they’re Brucellosis, Lepto, BVD, TB negative. Then they go through a series of samples from the preputial material for Campy and Trich. Six weekly cultures for each to prove the bulls are not infected with those two organisms. Once they get through that process, which is 40 some to 60 some days, then they’re eligible to move into the resident herd. (Dan) OK. Now when they’re in the resident herd what are some of the things that makes a facility different or what are some of the key points that people look at when they’re thinking about certified facilities, what are some of the things that are…? (Charlie) Facilities who are members of CSS and are participants in compliance, they have resident herd facilities where those bulls have to meet and be handled by certain management practices. That means they’ve got shade, they’ve got cover, they’ve got fresh water, they’ve got an adequate diet, they’ve got constant supervision and veterinary care, but it also means that they have collection standards, as far as how bulls are handled and semen is collected and processed. CSS also has a semen quality aspect to it, in that AI centers have to have a documented Semen Quality Program. Everyone has it a little bit different, which tells you there’s no one right one. But whatever you say you’re doing, you need to document that you’re doing it and you can show that you have a quality standard and that you follow it. Then bulls are positioned based on their health status for diseases that CSS doesn’t monitor, but are monitored for international trade. So, you may have a barn that has all bulls in it that are negative for Bovine Leukosis Virus, so that it may be eligible for Canada. You may have a barn that has no Bluetongue in it, so that it makes your export to Canada a little simpler. Depending on the state you’re in and what country you’re trying to export to, you can manage that population so that it’s eligible, not only the individual donor, but the whole barn herd is eligible. (Dan) Right and then it makes things much simpler when you’re deciding which bulls are going to be housed where and where they can be exported to. (Charlie) Exported to. Yep, exactly. (Dan) It’s incredible. (Charlie) Yes. The other part about Certified Semen Services is it has a brand and it has a brand that goes on the straw and it’s block logo CSS. So, if you purchase semen and it’s got block logo CSS on it you know how that bull was handled in pre-isolation, isolation, resident herd, and facilities management. (Dan) Again, it’s the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for exporting semen. We’re going to take another break and when we come back we’ll do a wrap up with Dr. Charlie Brown. You’re watching DocTalk. Thanks for joining us. More on Certified Semen Services after the break.
(Dan) Folks, welcome back to DocTalk. Dr. Dan Thomson and Dr. Charlie Brown. He’s the Director of Vet Services at Accelerated Genetics and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Certified Semen Services. It really is something that separates the men from the boys is that this certifies that things are being done appropriately. It certifies that these bulls are being managed appropriately and when these bulls roll into the resident herd there are a few things that you had yet to tell us. (Charlie) Those bulls as they move into the resident herd, you’ve pretty much documented that they’re free of those diseases of concern and now they’re in that resident herd producing semen not only for the U.S. market which is probably one of the biggest markets for our beef bulls, but they’re also eligible internationally. Then every six months you retest the entire resident herd to confirm that nothing has changed relative to BVD and Lepto and Camphy and Trich and those sorts of things and to keep those herds eligible because most health export health certificates require that they have a negative test for a whole list of diseases within six months prior to producing semen for export. So, that keeps bulls eligible. The big markets for dairy bulls is Europe and China. The big markets for beef is Argentina and Brazil, those would be the two biggest ones. Peru is growing. Mexico is also a big market for dairy and beef, but not on the volume of South American countries. (Dan) Right. When we see some of these developing nations, obviously Europe is a first world type country, but you’re starting to see some of these developing countries starting to pick up a little bit. (Charlie) Yes. So, we send semen, I can think of, we’re sending semen to Sudan and Kenya. The Saudis are big dairymen, have excellent dairy herds and they import a lot of semen from the U.S. They like the way we make our bulls and that’s another big country that buys a lot of semen. But all around the world, semen goes to 80 plus countries. I know one of the organizations within CSS exports to over 100 countries. (Dan) It’s amazing. This guy’s got a big job. He’s got a great company, Accelerated Genetics, Dr. Charlie Brown. Thanks for being on the show today. (Charlie) Thank you Dan. (Dan) Yep. Folks, thanks for watching DocTalk. Remember always work with your local veterinarian and if you want to find out more about what we do you can find us on the web at www.doctalktv.com. Thanks for watching DocTalk today. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and I’ll see you down the road.
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