About the BULLCHECK™ Accreditation Scheme
The standardised BULLCHECK™ Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation uses prescribed assessments and summarises the result into five fertility components. If a bull meets all the minimum standards at all levels of the BULLCHECK™ , it has a high probability of being fertile.
In common law, a bull sold as a breeding bull should be able to breed (Supreme Court of NSW, Decision), so it is very important that as many as possible of the components of fertility are met in the BULLCHECK™. A pass on BULLCHECK™ is not an express guarantee, but rather an indication of the potential breeding value of the bull in a normal mating situation.
A full BULLCHECK™ of an animal includes identification, history (including vaccinations) plus five key components, namely:
- A general physical examination including structure (conformation) and upper reproductive tract
- An examination of the testes and measurement of scrotal size
- A serving assessment to evaluate libido and mating ability
- Collection and assessment of a semen sample
- Laboratory examination of sperm morphology.
The ACV recommends all five components be used for higher value bulls which may need to be used for single sire mating, or with heavier mating loads under more intensive conditions. Both the vendor and buyer can decide which fertility components they require their bulls to pass to meet their objectives during a transaction.
The ACV recommends BULLCHECK™ be reported in a standardised format appropriately named Bull Reporter – with individual certificates available, or multi-bull reports for larger numbers.
The cost of a BULLCHECK™ will vary according to the number of fertility components examined, the time and facilities involved and the need to use a sperm morphologist. Compared with the cost of advertising, agent fees, insurance and pre-sale feeding, a BULLCHECK™ is a marginal expense providing an objective indicator of an extremely important attribute of a bull.
So, next time you are looking for a bull, look at more than the glossy pictures, and the presentation – try to determine if you are satisfied that the bull has all the genetics you want and has passed an objective assessment of fertility.
In 2007, ACV introduced a 'Gold Standard' for Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation. Members can apply now for accreditation.