Hermitage AI has re-opened a facility in Scotland, an addition that will see the company operate more than 2,000 boar spaces in Europe – making it one of the most significant players in porcine semen production sites in Europe.
With 120 boar places, the Scotland site is part of an overall investment plan. Situated just outside Aberfeldy, in Perthshire, the stud location is excellent for biosecurity and distribution by its temperature-controlled courier network to Scotland and Northern England.
Upgraded boar housing offers excellent conditions for both boars and operators, who have a wealth of laboratory and animal care expertise. As such, Hermitage AI has developed its own processing system that produces high quality product, maximising herd productivity in terms of fertility and genetic value provided.
Aberfeldy is one of six AI centres currently supplying semen to the UK market. Like all Hermitage AI Centres, it is EU licensed and supervised by a centre veterinarian, whose responsibilities include routine health testing, monitoring and all relevant certification – in turn, they are monitored by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
All AI boars are sourced from high health nucleus farms and spend a minimum of 30 days in an approved quarantine prior to entry. Here, compulsory testing (Classical swine fever, Aujeszky’s disease and brucellosis) is completed, while tests for PRRSV are conducted at entry and prior to exit.
Following negative results, boars are transported to the AI Centre in a designated trailer. All Hermitage AI Centres are surveyed weekly for PRRSV and analysed by an external laboratory.
The Hermitage AI stations currently supply PIC Genetics, PIC-Hermitage Genetics and Møllevang Danish Genetics.
PIC UK and Ireland commercial director Steve Furniss said: “Finding a great supply partner allows us to focus our resources on genetic improvement and technical services that benefit our customers. Genus, PIC’s holding company, will spend globally over £40 million in research and development this financial year, the majority of which will either be for the porcine business or for pigs and cattle.
“That genetic improvement and delivery to farm level is core to our business, as it is here we create added lifetime value to our customers’ businesses. Hermitage AI is an excellent partner for making that happen.“