BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE Zimbabwe Commercial Rabbit Breeders Association (Zicorba) has signed a deal with top South African veterinary technologists to offer artificial insemination on rabbits.
France and South Africa are among the few countries in the world that practise artificial insemination on rabbits.
Zicorba president Regis Nyamakanga confirmed in a statement that his organisation and South Africa’s Vriesit Andrology Laboratories were planning the first ever artificial insemination trial run for rabbits in Zimbabwe in October this year, making it the first rabbit breeding programme using artificial insemination in Africa, outside South Africa.
“We have been in discussions with Mr Henk van der Laarse, the founder and chief executive officer of Vriesit Andrology Laboratories to deliver the first artificial insemination on rabbits in Zimbabwe as we move to revolutionise rabbit breeding in the country,” Nyamakanga said.
“As part of this programme, we will soon take delivery of state-of-the-art artificial insemination apparatus from Vriesit once we have concluded the funding arrangements for them.”
The Zicorba boss said the idea of introducing artificial insemination was to boost production at reduced cost.
“We are looking at artificial insemination as an option to reduce the buck numbers, and consequently production cost. With artificial insemination, we will be selecting the best productive male rabbits (bucks) for semen donors,” he said.
The aim was to serve between 20 and 40 does (female rabbits) with one collection of semen, the plan being to inseminate up to 80 does within an hour after semen collection. The conception rate is expected to be between 70% and 80%.
“We will be working with Vriesit Andrology Laboratories to deliver artificial insemination on rabbits in Zimbabwe starting October this year. This will also include training of Zicorba members on rabbit breeding using artificial insemination.
“The training will cover breeding methods, semen collection, diluting semen and insemination of does,” Nyamakanga said.
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