Goat semen ‘not wasted’

PETALING JAYA: Marditech Corporation, a subsidiary of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi), said it had never wasted its imported goat and cattle semen for its artifical insemination exercise.

“Based on the current storage facility and technology, the semen can be kept for 99.99 years and beyond,” said Marditech Corp group chief executive officer Anas Ahmad Nasarudin in a statement to The Star.

He said the paper had mistakenly interpreted the Auditor-General's report on Oct 16 that some RM486,100 worth of semen were wasted as they remained unused.

“Procurements made were according to financial policy and procedures and approval based on delegation of powers and authority within the company,” he said, adding that the selection of high quality animals and timing were key critical success factors (CSF) to conduct the insemination.

“Therefore, there is no issue of wastage,” he said, adding that semen and embryo utilisation was carried out on a planned basis by the National Animal Embryo Centre based on identified CSFs.

“In addition, foreign exchange risk is mitigated through a specified number of purchases,” he said, clarifying the A-G's Report that Marditech spent RM1.39mil from 2007 to last year for insemination and embryonic transfer involving cattle and goats.

Regarding the reported purchase of some 1,212 straws of goat semen from its nucleus farm in Kluang, Johor, he said the semen was not “bought” but manually extracted from “selected high quality animals” by their own experts and no expenditure was incurred in the process.

Anas Ahmad also clarifed that the average cost of goat semen was RM150 per straw, and not RM250 as reported.

He added that besides the 1,000 straws of goat semen from the Kalahari breed, there were straws of semen from others, such as the Boer and Savanah breeds.

He also stated that the targets of 81.2% for cattle and 74.2% for goats were not for the insemination exercise but for the total population of cattle and goats, regardless of techniques applied and this includes multiplication by natural breeding.

He also clarifed that the farms mentioned in the A-G's report were the multiplier or satellite farms and not the farm in Kluang.

Regarding the alleged lack of experienced managers and proper infrastructure that caused low birth rates in some multiplier farms, he said these were not the main factors.

“However, floods which hit several multiplier farms in 2008 and 2009 caused detrimental effects and a high death rate was recorded,” he added.

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