Artificial breeding 1993 and onwards

RECENT HISTORY

Advanced Breeding Services was established in October 1993 as a partnership between Tennyson Bay Pty. Ltd. ( a family trust company, directors Bronte and Lou Mawson) and Dr. Lyn Davies. The partners were senior employees of Australian Sheep Artificial Breeders (ASAB) and Southern Angora Breeders (SAB) from 1978 to 1993, Bronte Mawson as manager/embryologist and Dr. Lyn Davies as head veterinarian. Both businesses developed as industry leaders equipped to apply “new” artificial breeding technology to emerging demand from specialist stud sheep and goat breeders within the Australian livestock industry.

Today ABS is a small mobile team geared to meeting the requirements of sheep and goat breeders throughout Australia in AI, ET, embryo freezing and thawing, and organizing the import and export of embryos.

Our results over the years have been better than industry averages in both sheep and goats because of our attention to detail in donor and recipient management, timing, embryo culture and surgical technique, always keeping in mind the cost of production of each lamb or kid. We consider a 60% stick rate an average result with many of our programs in the past years averaging 75% and over.

Our company gained full ownership of Advanced Breeding Services in February 1998 to focus on the following areas;

  • Semen Freezing.
  • Artificial Breeding in Exotics.
  • Juvenile in Vitro Embryo Transfer – RIVET technology
  • International Export – Services and Technology.
  • Project development.
  • The development of our own sheep studs.

Some highlights:

  • Foundation partner of Saltbush White Dorper stud, set up from the first importation of White Dorper embryos from RSA.
  • Developed of Axis White Dorper Stud from embryos imported from RSA and the distribution of stud stock from Saltbush.
  • JV development of Arcot White Dorper Stud in Queensland
  • The rapid set up of the Australis sheep studs.
  • Our commitment to China Agribusiness – first JV in China to start early 2009.
  • Our close cooperation with some of Australia’s leading White Suffolk studs and assistance in establishing on farm semen freezing at the new collection center at Detpa Grove.
  • The successful Trans cervical AI of fallow deer at Ausdansk Fallow Deer Stud using frozen semen.
  • The start of a new JV stud sheep business venture in 2009 with Southern Trades Management.
  • Conducted a world first successful non-surgical embryo collection trial on stud White Suffolk ewes and Detpa Grove.

Cooperation has been key to our AB focus and application

  • An initial MIVET trial was conducted at Detpa Grove White Suffolk Stud in 2011 using direct oocyte transfers. From this we have been able to define the necessary research protocols needed to establish a commercialisation pathway. Experimentation has led to trial work on RIVET technology.
  • On farm semen collection and freeze protocols have been implemented at the Detpa Grove AB facility and unique ram semen collection and enhanced freezing techniques developed

Our cooperation has witnessed innovative technological outcomes from the deployment of ABS “On Farm Embryo Transfer” protocols at Colchis (Australis White Dorper Stud), Detpa Grove White Suffolk Stud and Anden White Suffolk Stud.

  • Proven feed regimes have been developed to increase ovulation response in Donors and Recipients in AI and ET programs and enhance early colostrum release in lambing ewes.
  • Protocols have been developed to ensure Donor and Recipient post-operative health.
  • Donor preparation for ET has been enhanced to improve ovulation response.
  • An innovative procedure has been successfully tested to increase stick rates in Recipient maiden and mature ewes post embryo implant.
  • The effects of luteal failure in super ovulated Donor ewes and consequent loss of embryos has been negated in ET programs, again by applying innovative hormone enhancement techniques.

Focus on China 1999-2014

HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE

  • Worked closely with P. Heffernan, Technology Transfer Adviser to Professor Lu Shou Qun, Special Adviser to the Premier of China, T. Billings, Professor Special projects Office, Dean’s Staff, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia USA and others to develop a nationwide food animal embryo transfer strategy for China.
  • Oversaw embryo transfers on Black Range farm (Keith, SA) for sheep and goats for the joint venture development between the Chinix Group and the Qingdao Institute for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science in Shandong Province.
  • Invited by the Vice -Chair and the Secretary-General of Qingdao CPPCC ( Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference ) to provide strategic advice to the CPPCC for the development of a commercial embryo transfer unit Based in Qingdao, able to service the western provinces of China, and the development of a computerized database for breeding records and embryo transfers,
  • Invited to formally collaborate in field and laboratory embryo transfer development with the Qingdao Institute for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science.
  • Accepted position of Director of breeding technologies, The Chinix Group, approved by the Vice-Chair and Secretary General of the Qingdao CPPCC. 1999 – 2008
  • Semen collection and freezing at Jin Xin and the artificial insemination of Tibetan ewes during 2009 and 2010 at Hong Yuan. All a first for Sichuan Province.
  • A 2013 consultancy contract with Inner Mongolia Sino Grasslands Sheep Industry Co. Ltd (SINO), one of China’s leading AB companies, has demonstrated to ABS that significant improvement can be made all the following areas:

 

Our Chinese AB training programs covered:

Livestock Management Groups – Achieving commercial success with the correct preparation, health and management of;

  • Donors
  • Recipients
  • Rams
  • Teasers

Natural Mating

  • Seasonal flock mating
  • Synchronized flock mating using the ‘teaser’ effect
  • Synchronized flock mating using (PMS) protocols
  • Hand mating

Artificial Insemination

  • Ram training
  • Semen collection techniques
  • Semen preparation
  • Semen cooling and freezing
  • Vaginal insemination (SID)
  • Cervical insemination
  • Laparoscopic insemination
  • Synchronization / program protocols
  • Semen storage, transport and inventory systems

Embryo Transfer

  • Implant protocols
  • Thaw protocols
  • Surgical procedures and techniques in embryo recovery and implant
  • Surgery design and equipment

Embryology –

  • Media preparation
  • Embryo handling techniques
  • Embryo identification
  • Equipment

Research; practical options

  • Non-surgical embryo collection
  • Non-surgical embryo implant
  • Embryo freezing, vitrification
  • RIVET

Artificial breeding and livestock experience 1978 - 1996

ANCIENT HISTORY

  • JV partner Arcot White Dorper Stud – Queensland.
  • JV partner in Genelink – embryo import and marketing business.
  • Co – Principal / manager of Citadel Suffolk sheep stud.
  • Co – Principal / manager of Pachinko White Suffolk sheep stud.
  • Co – Principal / manager of Axis White Dorper sheep stud.
  • Overseer – Colchis Angora stud and Southern Angora Breeders.  1978 – 1982.
  • Manager – Colchis Angora stud and Southern Angora Breeders. 1982 – 1993.
  • Manager – Australian Sheep Artificial Breeders. 1986 – 1993.
  • International Manager – Artificial breeding – Arpac International. 1985 – 1988.
  • Manager – Baliol Pastoral – commercial sheep, goat and cattle. 1982- 1993.
  • Member of the Australian Society of Breeders of British Sheep.
  • Member of the Suffolk Society of Australia Inc.
  • Member of the Australian White Suffolk Association.

These various positions have involved the design, implementation and management of many livestock and farming projects from growing prime lambs to collecting embryos for export and pasture improvement to Lucerne and potato production. Over the years I have developed advanced skills in;

  • Artificial Breeding – artificial insemination, embryology, anesthesia, semen collection and freezing, embryo transfer programming and client liaison and on farm embryo transfer.
  • Farm Management – budget preparation, planning, supervising and training staff, reporting etc.
  • Livestock Management – stud stock development, breeding programs, preparation of show and sale stud stock and general livestock husbandry procedures.
  • Fiber production – wool and mohair.
  • Cropping – pasture development, cereal hay production, Lucerne production and growing potatoes commercially.
  • Livestock Quarantine – facility development and implementation of embryo and livestock export programs.
  • Liaison with Government regulatory bodies – AQIS, Dept. of Ag etc.
  • Project development – 5,000 ewe BREED- LOT program in Turkey – project design and animal selection and management and livestock export.
  • Marketing – Baliol meat goats to restaurants in South Australia – mail outs of promotional material for ABS and Genelink – presentations at and running field days.
  • Research – sounding board for research scientists (i.e. Adelaide University) and implementation of programs – hormone regimes and profiles, culture techniques, synchronization, embryo freezing and cloning.

Via Adelaide University Professor David Armstrong, Dr. Bob Seamark, Dr Lou Warnes and Dr. Simon Walker, world leading research scientists dealing specifically with artificial breeding technology. The team worked on the development of reliable super ovulation protocols, culture media and techniques, embryo freezing and thawing, short term embryo storage and experimental cloning work. Our commercial programmes in those days were forefront applications of very recent research and evolved into robust procedures that have stood the test of time. Some well recognized industry firsts developed from this early research into embryo transfer and its commercial application are listed below.

  • The team proved that twin transfers (as opposed to single embryo transfers) increased conception rate and embryo survival rate markedly.
  • Established a super ovulation protocol using FSH-P that was far superior to PMS-G.
  • Defined the optimum synchrony between embryo recipient and donor.
  • Initiated the use of Hepes-SOFM as a culture media, semen diluent and buffer.
  • Hepes-SOFM used to culture single cell embryos to blastosysts.
  • Hepes-SOFM used to store embryos at 4ºC for 24-48 hours.
  • Developed strategies to handle luteal failure in donors.
  • Developed commercial non – surgical embryo collections in Angora Goats.
  • Established reliable protocols for synchronizing recipients.
  • Timed ovulation and insemination in Merinos to achieve 90% plus fertilization in ET.
  • Set high standards in donor and recipient surgery and anesthesia.

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OUR OTHER STUDS

Australis White Dorper’s

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Genelink Dorper’s

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Genelink Ultrawhite

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Genelink Meatmaster

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