In what is believed to be a first for British Black Limousin genetics, the British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) has announced the export of forty-four Grade “A” embryos to New Zealand.
Six heifers from two of the country’s leading black Limousin herds were flushed comprising animals from the Greensons and Turville pedigree Limousin herds on behalf of Greensons Limousins, Tunbridge Court, Bottisham, Cambridge and HB & LJ Lear Creslow Manor, Creslow, Aylesbury, Bucks respectively.
The embryos have been purchased by John Mawle, Rakaia Gorge in New Zealand’s South Island, after initial contact through Robert Brittain’s Cambridgeshire-based embryo transfer company. Indeed it was Mr Brittain who both collected the embryos and subsequently went over to New Zealand to implant them this October.
Commenting on the export, Guy Green from Greensons Limousins said: “This is an exciting development for the breed and certainly a first for Greensons Limousins. We drew up combinations of matings for the flushes that would ensure that the offspring would complement each other. There is some really fantastic breeding heading down to New Zealand. Naturally there is a heavy influence of black Limousin bulls like Greensons Ural, Bailea Caviare and Newhouse Fullback. We have also used one or two exciting red bulls such as Bolide, used on the homozygous black heifers, so we will be guaranteed black calves hitting the ground in New Zealand.”
Mr Mawle, who used to farm in Ampthill, Bedfordshire in UK where he ran the Black Moor herd of pedigree British Blues, emigrated to New Zealand in 2004. Commenting on his purchases he said: “I was attracted not only by the fleshing ability of the Limousin breed but also the docility of the black Limousins which is an important factor in New Zealand where cattle, especially in the high country, are generally not handled as often as in the UK. There are some feed lots over here which supply the Japanese market – one only 40 kilometres from us fattening 45,000 head – which insist on black cattle only. In what is an Angus-dominated market here in New Zealand, we hope to change attitudes with superior yields from Limousin carcases and get a premium for the extra shape and weight.”
Brian Lear, owner of the Turville Limousin herd added: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to flush some of the best young heifers in the herd. We have some very exciting embryo heifers with strong Canadian genetics, which have exceptional growth and volume, including a very shapely homebred heifer. They have been matched up with the only three black bulls whose semen was eligible for export to New Zealand. We have also used some of what we consider to be the best red genetics available including Anside Flint and Wilodge Enrico semen. The package of embryos should produce a very strong group of black, polled calves and should certainly give John Mawle what he is looking for.”