UK pig stud secures biggest ever export order to China


The Pig Site

03 January 2018


The UK has received its largest ever export order from China for frozen boar semen, in a deal which also involves training Chinese staff in artificial insemination (AI) and semen handling. Deerpark Pedigree Pigs in Northern Ireland has secured the order which will ship in January and be followed by further consignments over the months and years ahead.


The order has come off the back of extensive work on the part of brothers, Nigel and Robert Overend, who own the Deerpark Stud, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Tag, the export arm of the British Pig Association (BPA).


Over the years, the Overend family has perfected the process of freezing pig semen, a product with which their top-performing customers are now achieving conception rates as high as 100 per cent. The Overend family was early to adopt the process and has spent decades fine-tuning best-practice techniques for freezing, thawing and inseminating the semen.


Although their freezing process remains a closely-guarded secret within their Londonderry-based company, the brothers are now in keen demand around the world to provide tuition in handling and insemination.


The most recent Chinese order for 2,000 straws will follow smaller shipments, in a sequence of events which is typical for the company when new customers come on board. Nigel Overend explained:


This customer started with a small order of 100 straws in order to test the water. When they were confident they would achieve high conception rates, they moved on to much larger orders.


Semen from these shipments will be largely destined for Chinese multiplication units which produce high genetic merit breeding stock for commercial herds.


Further interest in Deerpark comes from the rare and minority breeds…