AB Facility Standards

Providing secure, appropriate AB facilities keeps our AB Technicians safe and gives them the best opportunity to get your cows in-calf when first presented.

Ultimately, we want our AB Technicians to be working in compliant, dedicated AB facilities that allow them to focus on the job at hand and not have to worry about hazards such as tripping, falling or working around steel pipework.

To reduce the risk of our AB Technicians getting hurt and give them the best opportunity to get cows in-calf when first presented, we are working with our farmers to get our technician service out of the pit of a herringbone shed to dedicated AB facilities by May 2025.

AB Technician

The timeline for moving to dedicated AB facilities will be as follows:

  • 2021/2022 – AB facility standards remain the same.
  • May 2023 – LIC’s AB Technician service will not be offered if required to work from the pit of a herringbone shed on a trolley.
  • May 2025 – LIC’s AB Technician service will not be offered if required to work from the pit of a herringbone shed (on a trolley or platform). LIC’s AB Technician service will only be supplied to farms with compliant dedicated AB facilities, this includes compliant platforms in rotary sheds.

From May 2025, our AB Technician service will only be supplied to farms with compliant dedicated AB facilities.

All facilities where an LIC AB Technician will be working to inseminate cows will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be completely free of vertical poles, overhead hazards or any other such permanent or temporary features deemed a workplace hazard by an LIC representative when inspected.
  • Must have suitable standing room behind the animal for the AB Technician to work freely without any wall, pipework or other animal that creates obstruction or inhibits free access to all cows presented for AB.
  • All AB facilities whether dedicated, rotary cowsheds or single presentation facilities must have an animal friendly non-slip floor under all environmental conditions that stop an animal from falling down during the AI process. For example, an animals’ back legs slipping off the rotary platform causing the animal to fall down creating the potential for the AB Technician’s arm to get caught against the horizontal backing bar.
  • Dedicated AB facilities will ideally allow multiple AB Technicians to carry out insemination work at the same time, e.g. all apprentice technicians working with their Senior Instructor, all AB Technicians receiving supervision visits, additional AB Technicians to service synchrony programmes.
  • The AB Technician must operate from behind a solid safe barrier.
  • The AB Technician must not operate in the same space as any unrestrained animals.
  • The AB Technician must be operating from a level equal to that of the cow’s feet or no more than 150 mm above.
  • All AB Technician-operating areas must be of a non-slip surface even when wet and mucky.
  • The AB facility, loading bench and technician working area is protected from all environmental effects, including pungent odours as they can affect semen survival.
  • Minimum biosecurity measures must be in place such as a scrubbing brush and clean water situated at a clearly defined point of entry.
  • AB facilities (including the holding yard) must have the capacity to hold a minimum 5% of herd size.

Rotary cowsheds, platforms or the entry/exit bridge are suitable options provided:

  1. There is appropriate safety railing on all sides of the platform when the platform edge does not lead to level footing or steps.
  2. The platform, if used within a rotary shed, is shaped to follow the contour of the rotating platform and have a gap no greater than 30mm from the outer edge of the rotary platform and the insemination platform.
  3. Access to the platform or bridge must have suitable access points that are sturdy/fixed and non-slip along with a handrail that ensures people have 2 points of contact when climbing up or down.
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Compliant rotary shed platform

Single presentation cow systems (e.g off farm cattle yards with a cattle crush), must have:

  1. Appropriate resource supplied (a minimum of two people present excluding LIC staff) to ensure safe animal handling when loading and releasing animals.
  2. A ratchet type back bar stop able to be adjusted whilst animal is loaded, to ensure the animal cannot move forward beyond the technician’s reach.
  3. Any vet race must also have a side entry gate that locks across the path of any other animal waiting for service and trying to move forward,
  4. A lead in race and holding yard that is capable of holding 5% of the herd size.
  5. Animal must be held securely to minimise animal movement such as the animal moving forward, backwards or turning.
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Compliant AB facility in herringbone shed

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Compliant AB facility

Improving AB facilities

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Waikato dairy farmer Paddy O’Shea recently upgraded his AB facilities and couldn’t be happier with the result.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Regional AB Operations Manager.

Northland & South Auckland – Nicola Turner Ballantyne, 027 565 5661

West Waikato & King Country – Glen Wilke, 027 449 4465

East Waikato, BOP & Central Plateau – Maryann Armstrong, 027 665 9090

Taranaki – Clinton Laing, 027 201 7159

Wellington & Hawkes Bay – Steve O’Connor, 027 488 4827

Upper South Island & West Coast – Sean Price, 027 471 1985

Central South Island – Belinda Munn, 027 839 2287

Lower South Island – Glenda Warnock, 027 223 5028

AB facilities standard

Learn what you need to do to make your AB facilities compliant.

View the standards

AB facilities standard

Learn what you need to do to make your AB facilities compliant.

View the standards