Ano 2015 - Volume 35, Número 9

A bull breeding soundness evaluation system with greater emphasis on scrotal circumference, 35(9):817-821

ABSTRACT.- Garcia-Paloma J.A. 2015. A bull breeding soundness evaluation system
with greater emphasis on scrotal circumference. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira 35(9):817-821. Centro de Biotecnología Animal, Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, Camino de Rioseco 1225, Deva, Gijón 33394, Asturias, Spain. E-mail:

Bull breeding soundness evaluation (BBSE) is a method applied to reduce the risk of using subfertile bulls in herds. There are currently two BBSE systems, those of the Society for Theriogenology (SFT) and the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP). Scrotal circumference (SC), sperm motility (SM) and normal sperm (NS) of 454 bulls aged between 12 and 15 months of a Spanish beef breed were used to compare both systems, and since there is no agreement on that BBSE system must be applied in Spain, a single one was proposed for its consideration. SC was adjusted to 15 months (SC15) and the mean of the BBSE traits was: SC15 (34.2±2.4cm), SM (76.6±14.6%) and NS (76.8±12.3%). In the PROPOSED system, the SM and NS thresholds were those defined by the WCABP system, while the SC15 thresholds were set by combining the SFT threshold and SC15±1SD in order to establish four classification categories, the three proposed by the WCABP system: unsatisfactory, questionable and satisfactory, and other category, called superior, for bulls with SM≥60%, NS≥70% and SC15≥Mean+1SD. The PROPOSED system scored fewer bulls as unsatisfactory than the SFT and the WCABP systems (8.6%, 23.6% and 22.5%, respectively; P<0.01), while the percentage of bulls from worst to best in the other three categories under the PROPOSED system was: 26.0%, 54.2% and 11.2%, respectively. In conclusion, the PROPOSED system gives more emphasis to SC, sets differences between bulls classified as satisfactory by the other systems and can be considered a good system for Spain and for other countries that have no defined their own system.
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