“We have done really well in China. Way above expectation. Over the past year we have exported over 100,000 doses of sperm and that it very good for a market which we have just entered,” said Sara Wiklert Petersson, export manager at Viking Genetics to Sveriges Radio (SR).
The company, located in Skara, currently exports bull sperm to some 50 countries. Previously China wasn't even on the top ten export countries but the country has the intention of becoming self-sufficient in dairy products.
It has therefore vowed to more than double its cow population from 10 to 20 million heifers and Viking Genetics is expecting to sell another 100,000 doses of sperm this year, Wiklert Petersson told SR.
The bulls donate sperm about twice a week. As the sperm is then diluted, the company can get up to 3,000 doses at one time, depending on the bull's form.
Some of the animals have produced half a million sperm doses in their life time.
“They are brought in and egged to a state of excitement while shown the other handsome bulls that are there for the day and then they donate their sperm, which is later diluted to anything from 300 to 3,000 doses,” said Wiklert Petersson to SR.
The animals' sperm is thoroughly tested from the age of one, along with their offspring's resistance to disease, fertility, temperament and milk production.
The Chinese are also to a large extent interested in sperm that has undergone a separation process for gender selection, as they are chiefly interested in heifers for milk production, Wiklert Petersson told SR.