Imported Breeding Cows Arrive After Two-Decade Hiatus

US - Guyana’s cattle industry stands to benefit from improved breeding stock with the importation of 15 mixed-breed cows from Florida, United States, as part of efforts to develop a breeding station for cattle at Liberty Island, Essequibo River.
calendar icon 14 May 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The Brangus, is a cross breed of the Brahman and Angus cattle.

The breeding cows, Brangus, were imported at a cost of US$4,700 each by private cattle farmer, Hakeem Mohammed with support from the Ministry of Agriculture. This is the first time since the 1980s that cattle have been imported for breeding purposes.

Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud who witnessed the arrival of the cows today at the John Fernandes Wharf, Water Street, Georgetown, said the initiative is a significant development particularly since beef has been identified as one of the livestock activities to drive the agricultural diversification strategy forward.

The Brangus, is a cross breed of the Brahman and Angus cattle and has become very popular over the past years. The Brahman has high disease resistance, overall hardiness and outstanding maternal instincts. Angus cows are known for their superior meat quality. They are also extremely functional females excelling in both fertility and milking ability.

Minister Persaud said the animals will be quarantined for a certain period before they are allowed to integrate with the local breeds. The animals have fulfilled all the necessary animal health requirements and are considered suitable for adaptation to Guyana’s climate conditions as it has been proven that they are resistant to heat and high humidity.

The breeding station at Liberty Island will be developed using private investments while the Ministry will provide quarantine services and conduct regular monitoring to ensure that the initiative is successful. The private investor has plans to import more animals from the US to develop the breeding station’s capacity and make more stocks available to cattle farmers.

Minister Persaud commended Mohammed for taking up his challenge which he issued late last year, to develop a breeding station and work with the Ministry of Agriculture in the venture. He is urging other farmers to invest in establishing breeding stations for various types of animals.

Brazil is one of the countries from which animal importation is prohibited due to the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and the Ministry has made it clear that animal importation will not be allowed from any and all countries. Anyone found importing animals will be dealt with in accordance with the law, Minister Persaud said.

Guyana has been certified free of FMD and has been taking the necessary precaution through legislation, and stricter monitoring at its borders.

This initiative is part of a comprehensive effort to develop similar breeding stations for small ruminants and cattle and will be spearheaded by the Ministry, in collaboration with the private sector.

Over recent years, Guyana’s breeding stock was developed by artificial insemination done through the National Dairy Development Programme, however, this was found to be inadequate.

Witnessing the offloading exercise were Senior Veterinary Officer of the Ministry Dr. Kenrick Elias, Programme Director Dr. Nicholas Waldron and farmer Hakeem Mohammed.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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