CHENNAI: Over 30 per cent of farm animals in Tamil Nadu suffer from infertility and 60 per cent of them suffer from urinary tract infections which affects fertility, according to Dr K Kulasekaran, professor and head of department, Animal Reproduction, TANUVAS.
While infertility in humans is a well known issue, animals too are increasingly becoming infertile. “Infertility in animals is an overlooked issue, while there are medicines to tackle human infertility, only proper care and embryo insemination can help animals reproduce,” says Kulasekaran.
While embryo insemination in cattle is fast becoming the most sought after alternative with a 90 per cent chance of fertilisation occurring, there is a 60 per cent reduction in the chances of the embryo surviving after four weeks of transition. Non-infectious factors arise from wrong signaling between the mother and embryo, while environmental factors and management factors lead to less reproduction. Management factors here include insufficient feeding and overlooking possible infections in the uterus that are prominent in cattle.
“If we do not inseminate cattle which are capable of producing eight calves, it will produce only one or not even that,” says Dr Ram Kasimanickam, associate professor, Animal Reproduction, Washington State University. While cattle infertility is on the rise, small animals like dogs and cats in Chennai are also becoming increasingly infertile.
Dr Sokkalingam, a veterinarian from SPCA tells us, “People come to me almost every day and complain that their dog is not reproducing. What owners fail to realise is that they need to do their bit to help them conceive.”
To help farmers and their cattle tackle this challenge, TANUVAS in association with the Department of Animal Husbandry, has organised embryo insemination clinics in different districts across the state.
Dr K Kulasekaran tells us, “We have completed the first phase in Hosur, Dharmapuri and Salem and have achieved a 30 per cent conception rate. We will be kickstarting phase two in other districts by next month.” He adds, “A healthy environment and constant monitoring of the animal is the only way to keep infertility at bay.”