The Holstein heifer that smashed auction records in January will soon be flying to her new home in Canada.
Sold for $251,000 at International Dairy Week at Tatura, Lightning Ridge-CMD Jedi Gigi is expected to leave Melbourne on a flight to Toronto this month.
The six-month-old was bought by US company Sexing Technologies from Declan Patten and Callum Moscript, of Warragul. She was sought after because her genomic tests showed she was the fourth best heifer in the world in the global total performance index, which measures genetic ability.
Housed at Total Livestock Genetics quarantine facility at Glenormiston, she will travel with a three other high value breeding stock in a purpose built livestock crate.
Following the 21½-hour trip the heifers will be quarantined for 30 days before venturing to a farm with her new owner, Sexing Technologies.
TLG live animal exports co-ordinator Michelle Williams said the heifer needed to spend two weeks in quarantine, but the quarantine had been extended due to the difficulty securing a flight.
Ms Williams said TLG freighted many breeding animals around the world, including sheep and goats to New Zealand, heifers to Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, China and Thailand.
“Most of the high value dairy animals come out of North America as semen and embryos, not much goes back that way,” she said.
Ms Williams said the last export to Canada was in 2012 and this was a direct flight from Sydney to Vancouver. Exporting from Sydney this time was ruled out as the blue tongue exclusion zone now included Sydney airport, she said.
Part of the export protocol between Australia and Canada included not transporting the animal through a blue tongue zone.
She said limited testing was required as the heifer did not originate from a blue tongue zone and Australia does not have bovine tuberculosis.
“Australia is a bio secure country, which is great for live animals exports,” TLG vet and director Steve Williams said.
“Breeding cattle can be exported to umpteen countries around the world.”
Mr Williams said he expected Lightning Ridge-CMD Jedi Gigi would start IVF soon after she arrived in Canada.
Genomic testing opened up the opportunity to target selected breeding animals around the world, he said.
Source: Weekly Times