IXth International Conference on Boar Semen Preservation 2019

New trends in production management in European boar studs (61194)

Martin Schulze 1 , E Nitsche-Melkus 1 , U Jakop 1 , M Jung 1 , D Waberski 2
  1. Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schönow, Bernau OT Schönow, BRANDENBURG, Germany
  2. Reproductive Medicine of Clinics/Clinic for Pigs and Small Ruminants, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg , Hannover, Germany

Reducing the number of spermatozoa per artificial insemination (AI) dose, and managing semen in ways to ensure greater quality at the same time represent current challenges with sperm processing in AI stations. Based on a multi-year comparative analysis of process steps in different boar studs and complementary experimental studies under standardized laboratory conditions, new process standards for the preservation of boar semen have been developed and updated. Currently, these results represent an integral part of the quality assurance of 29 European AI centers in ten different organizations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Improvement of hygiene management in AI boar studs and guidelines for a prudent use of antibiotics are in main focus due to worldwide increasing antibiotic resistance of bacteria in extended semen. Furthermore, new quality control tools were implemented in processing and transport of boar semen: e.g. refractometry as an easy-to-use tool to estimate extender osmolarity and mobile sensing apps for continuous monitoring of various environmental parameters. Moreover, based on several series of experiments under laboratory and field conditions, recommendations for optimizing the dilution process, and time and temperature management during boar semen processing have been updated. Similarly, recommendations for the handling of semen doses during storage were renewed. Over the years, the efficiency of the quality assurance system is reflected by a decrease of bacterial contamination and concomitantly increase in the quality of semen doses. In conclusion, science-based quality assurance is efficient to improve the production performance in boar studs resulting in high quality and economically-priced semen for pig producers. Increasing knowledge of sperm physiology together with computational and technical innovations will continue to develop and modify quality assurance concepts in the future.