THE BOER GOAT BECOMES INTERNATIONAL
Dr. Stuart Southwell, B.V.Sc - M.R.C.V.S.
In 1985, Landcorp Farming N.Z. decided to improve its Angora goats by importing genetics from Southern Africa, and it was decided to use Zimbabwe as the country of importation. Alan Aiken, the Landcorp representative, was sent across to Zimbabwe to assess the situation and to select the donor animals. Whilst there, he was introduced to this funny looking goat with long brown ears. The locals called this goat "the Boer". These goats had been imported from South Africa many years ago and now formed a significant population in Zimbabwe. Like they have done to many people in latter years, these "Boers" attracted Alan Aiken's interest.
In January 1987, Landcorp went to Zimbabwe to flush embryos from Angora and Boer females. This took place at a quarantine station called Iridor, which was just outside Harare. Approximately two hundred embryos were frozen from this collection, and exported to New Zealand. These embryos were implanted on Soames Island (New Zealand's maximum quarantine facility) in May of 1987.
Concurrently in May 1987, Landcorp went back to Zimbabwe to collect more Angora and Boer embryos. The donors in this second flush were completely different to those at Iridor, and were in quarantine at Keymer Farms which was owned by D. Banks. Because of quarantine regulations and the seasonal nature of the goats reproductive cycle, these embryos from the second flush were not implanted into recipients in New Zealand until April 1988.
Landcorp's final collection of Boer goat embryos from Zimbabwe took place in May 1988. These were implanted in April 1989 and the pregnant recipients went to a second quarantine station in the South Island called Eyrewell.
These three collections from Zimbabwe in 1987 and 1988 formed the basis of Landcorp's Boer goat industry. And by yearend 1988, New Zealand then had two groups of Boer goats, one owned by a consortium with B. Moodie as its spokesperson, and the other by Landcorp Farming.
Also in 1988, an Australian group flushed Boer goat embryos from new genetics, also at Keymer Farms. Those animals were released from quarantine in Australia in November 1995, and by that time had propagated to the extent that there were approximately 2,000 Boer goats at the Terraweena quarantine facility.
Prior to the release of Landcorp's animals from quarantine, Landcorp implanted Boer embryos into recipients at Olds College in Canada. These were the first Boer embryos and later live kids to be born in North America. These goats stayed in quarantine (at Olds College) until the New Zealand release in April 1993, at which time they were able to be released into Canada and the U.S.A.
From that point onwards, the Boer goat has truly become an international entity. Since 1987 the Boer has moved from Africa to New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Australia, U.S.A., Indonesia, England, India, France, Malaysia, Denmark, British West Indies, Netherland Antilles, and numerous other countries.
About The Author
Dr. Stuart Southwell, B.V.Sc. - M.R.C.V.S.
No one individual has contributed more to the development of the international Boer goat industry than Dr. Stuart Southwell of Premier Genetics N. Z. Ltd in Drury, New Zealand. He is widely known and respected for pioneering many of the embryo transfer techniques and programme protocols that are being employed by veterinarians and goat producers in many different countries of the world, and has willingly shared his knowledge and experience with those who have sought his advice and counsel. In addition to sharing his surgical techniques with other of his fellow veterinarians, Dr. Southwell has, himself, performed embryo recovery, splitting, and transfer on many thousands of Boer goats.
To confer with Dr. Southwell regarding Boer goat embryo transfer or AI technology, or to engage his services, he may be contacted as follows:
Dr. Stuart Southwell, B.V.SC - M.R.C.V.S.
Phone: 0-9 236 0616