Artificial insemination is now widely used in the breeding of
cattle and several textbooks have dealt with the subject (Hammond,
Edwards, Rowson and Walton, 1947 J Perry, Bartlett, Edwards, Terrill,
Berliner and Jeffrey, 1947; Rowson, Day and Griffiths, 1948; Herman
and Madden, 1950; Millar and Has, 1952; Laing, 1955; Van Rensburg,
1957)» The early work on artificial insemination and on the semen
of the domestic animals has been adequately reviewed by Anderson (1945).
The present extent of use of artificial insemination in different
countries is shown in Table 1 and this data indicates that further
expansion is still possible in many countries. The arguments put
forward in 1941 for its trial on a field scale were discussed in
retrospect by Walton (1958) who also maintained that the economic
benefit to the small farmer and that the wider use of progeny tested
bulls would result in the further extension of its use in the future.
The nature of the development in the different breeds in England and
Wales (see Table 2) is somewhat different from what might have been
anticipated; this is chiefly due to the relative decrease in the
demands for insemination from bulls of dual-purpose breeds (in particular the Dairy Shorthorn) and to an increase in the demand for
crossing with beef bulls.
The application of artificial insemination in cattle has several
advantages, The small farmer has a choice of good bulls of several
breeds for less than it would cost him to keep a bull of his own
(Hammond, 1953); the 'communal bull* is much leas common and it
is generally agreed that the almost complete disappearance of trichomoniasis in England and Wales (Report 1958a) is due to this increased production
by the use only cf proven bulla and breeding from a bull that may
not be able to serve because of illness or injury or that may be too
heavy for certain cows is made possible. The possible usefulness of
artificial insemination for upgrading indigenous stock in underdeve¬
loped territories has also been accepted,but it cannot always be
practical under the conditions existing in mar\y of these countries.
The success of artificial insemination depends very nuoh on the
accurate detection of heat by the farmer (Smith, 1958). For this
reason a service is of limited value where cattle arc not kept under
close observation and in areas with poor means of communication.