These are the times….

…you know the rest.

If you read our earlier posts, you know that we have been confronted with an embargo on all genetic imports from England.  The villain is a little gnat that carries something called the Schmallenberg virus.  Cows can survive it but the virus can abort or cripple unborn calves.  There’ve been only a few cases in England but, of course, the USDA has to protect American herds.

Several times we thought the alert was over and there’ve been rumors of the development of a test that will reveal the virus’ anti-bodies.

Well, the test apparently has been perfected (in Holland) and is appears we will soon be able to resume flushing cows for their embryos and collecting semen.  However, according to our sources at the USDA, the test will not be able to work with material that has already been frozen.

Worse, our source tells us, such a test is probably not practical given the limited number of embryos that are affected.  Well, our “limited number” is about 50 and that will be a terrible setback to the timing and scope of our program.  It is also a loss of time and money.

Fortunately, we do have representative embryos from all but one of the cows we have selected already in the United States.  Not as much as we’d like and hoped for, but enough to continue.

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