The Jersey Cow and its Island Home (2)

by The Earl of Jersey, Chairman, World Jersey Cattle Bureau, T. Le. Q. Blampied,

 96. As to the other common diseases, I can almost say "We have not any". Bovine Tuberculosis was eradicated about 1860, and there is a vigorous system of testing constantly in operation. Any animal moved from one farm to another or for export has to be tested before moving, and only occasional reactors have turned up since. It is perhaps worth pointing out that there are no cattle markets on the Island. In England these especially are the means by which infectious diseases are so easily spread all over the country and make it so difficult to enforce control. In Jersey, cattle are sold individually or at Farm Auction Sales.

 97. Contagious Abortion, Brucellosis or Banks Disease was eradicated by slaughter between 1930 and 1938. Only 128 animals were in fact destroyed. I am told that in England a theory is being followed up that Brucellosis in cattle is associated with Slipped Discs and lower back pain in man.

 98. Vibrio Foetus and Trichomaniasis are never known to have occurred on the Island, yet strangely enough they do in Guernsey, and are responsbile for the setting up of an A.1 Station in that Island.

 99. Johnnes Disease does exist though it only occurred on three farms in 1962 and it is hoped that by a slaughter policy that this too has been eradicated.

 100. There is no A.1. Articicial Breeding on the Island of Jersey, and the majority of farmers are vehemently against it. Immediately after the war there may have been a market for semen, had there been any aailable for export, but it was feared that the export of semen would clash with the export of live bulls. Nowadays vested interests overseas in Commercial A.1. Stations and Veterinary requirements is the importing countries have reduced what export there is even from the United Kingdom to a mere trickle.

 101. (An Artificial Insemination Centre was in fact set up in Jersey by a Private Company in 1968. The Centre was later taken over by the States of Jersey Committee of Agriculture and Fisheries. Today about one quarter of the Island Herd is bred artificially and semen from Island Bulls has been and still is exported to many overseas countries. There are usually about six bulls standing at the A.1 Centre at any one time. These bulls are selected by a panel of Island breeds, and the stud is changed periodically to give breeders a wider selection of sires and to avoid any one bull being over-used. Fro

 102. I have previously mentioned that the export of Jersey Cows to England was already well established by the end of the 18th Century. What of the exports to other countries  which became possible when steam ships took over from Sail? Previously it was not possible to carry enough fresh water for cattle on the sailing ships for any long voyage. Thornton's History of the Breed written in 1879 refers to Mr. A.J. Arnold shipping from the Island in the seven years 1873 to 1879 - to England and America, New Zealand, Australia and France, no less than 7.310 head all told.

(a) New Zealand, I understand, imported her first Jerseys about 1860, and is unique in knowing their names. The Old Marquis, Dutchess and Lucy the Society and Herd Book was not started until 1902.

(b) The American Jersey Herd Book was started in 1868 and there are now some 400.000 Pedigree Jerseys in that country (1965).

(c) In view of the association between the Island and Canada where many Jerseymen engaged in the Newfoundland Cod Fishing Industry had properties and homes, it is possible that Jersey Cows were taken there some time in the 18th Century, though there is no record of this. The Herd Book was started in 1901.

(d) The South African Society's Book was started in 1906, and the extremes of heat and of altitude and humidity to be found on that continent are a remarkable test of the adaptability of the breed.

(e) Denmark imported their first Jersey in 1896, and there are over 300.000 Jerseys in that country today. The Danish Jersey has been bred to produce very high butterfat, and the 1976-77 average for the breed was 4.064 kg (8.959 lbs) 6.21% 253 kg fat (558 lbs.), which is 30 kg more fat than the heavier breeds. The success of the Danish Jersey has encouraged the development of the breed in Europe, particularly in Scandinavian countries.

(f) India is fast developing the crossing of the Jersey with the indigenous stock of the country. The first cross with the local cow (e.g. JerseyxGir) produces up to three times as much milk as the indigenous dam. Under the National Dairy Development Board cross-breeding scheme, in 1979, 1.6. million cows will be crossbred, 70% of them to Jersey bulls. By 1986 this figure will be increased to 20.4. million cows bred to other breeds, again 70% will be put to Jersey bulls.

(g) Of the other Herd Books, most were started in the early years of this century. ALtogether there are, I believe, nearly one and half million Pedigree Jersey Cattle belonging to Members of this Bureau today, and several million pure-bred, but none-pedigree, Jerseys in the World (1965).

(h) Of countries not Members of the Bureau, Japan has the greatest number imported from Australia and the U.S.A.

(i) In Russia , near Moscow there are two herds on State Experimental Farms which have about 700 head in each herd. I understand they do not do really well in the violent fluctuation of the extreme heat in Summer and intense cold in Winter. They are being used in experiments to upgrade the fat  percentage of local breeds. It would be interesting to know the results. We have seen how successful the Jersey can be when crossed with tropical breeds, in Kenya for example, but these Russian crosses would be with Temperate Zone breeds.

 103. And so we finish where we started. From this small Island the home and origin of the breed, with an Island Herd which probably has never exceeded a total of 12.000 head, cattle have been exported and thave thrived all over the world, remarkable demonstration of the vigour, the adapability, the fertlity, and the economic value of the Jersey Breed. But if the animal overseas differs from the Island Stock, while it is a tribute to that adaptability, the true perfection of type must be that found in the Jersey in its original Island Home

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