The recent arrival of UK Texel semen from Scottish breeders Robert Laird - Cambwell flock and Ian Murray - Glenway flock reopened UK genetics export to US sheep breeders.
Patrea Pabst – US Texel breeder, ordered semen after her UK June 2016 visit. Pabst selected rams from both flocks.
She views import of superior UK genetics as a "game-changer" for US Texel sheep.
Pabst said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the successful completion of the importation of semen from four outstanding Texel rams and look forward to having AI sired lambs on the ground in 2018.”
Navigating US import protocol was a challenge.
Pabst commented: “This importation was made possible by the efforts of Ian Murray, Robert Laird, Geraint Thomas of ABI Europe, John Wilkes and Dr. Matthew Rolleston, all of whom went above and beyond to overcome many obstacles to make this happen.”
Dr. Matthew Rolleston, DVM is an animal Laparoscopic AI and embryo transfer specialist. He worked closely with leading UK artificial breeding services company AB Europe on this consignment and managed US distribution.
Dr. Rolleston is eager to develop US/UK ovine genetics trade within his East Corinth, Maine veterinary business.
Rollerston said: “We want to build bridges to access good UK genetics for US breeders wherever possible. We also keep Bluefaced Leicester and Clun Forest sheep ourselves and want to improve them with British genes.”
UK National Sheep Association (NSA) acknowledged the importance of US export to the British sheep industry.
NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker commented: "The fact we now have semen from some of the UK’s premier sheep breeders about to be used in flocks in the US is great news; both for UK and US sheep farmers. Much hard work was done to achieve this and it’s been a long time coming.”
Proposed legislation awaits approval by the United States Department of Agriculture to allow import of UK ovine embryos.
Dr Rolleston explained, “We would like to introduce high meat yielding UK Charollais sheep to the US; embryos are the only way we can do this.”
The National Sheep Association acknowledged the significance should current US restrictions be rescinded.
Phil Stocker said, “I hope this will pave the way for more high quality UK genetics to the US once trade in ovine embryos is approved."