Training on Embryo Flushing and Transfer

The Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)’s project; Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP)organized a technical training for staff in Livestock -Ruminant program on Embryo transfer (ET) techniques which are very effective for the propagation of superior genes. In developed countries, this technology has been in use for several years, and allows livestock breeders to share their most valuable germplasm at an international as well as a domestic level without depleting their genetic base. Embryo movement provides a humane alternative to the stress of transporting live animals. Research to date has shown that this method of moving genetic material can be very safe with regard to preventing the introduction of infectious diseases into previously unaffected populations. The method of embryo transfer, which is used for the increase of the reproductive ability of female animals, is now a routine practice in cattle breeding in many countries of the world.

Embryo transfer is a technology that requires expertise in many areas. It includes several consecutive stages such as the selection of donors (genetically superior and with normal reproduction), selection of recipients (of low genetic but high reproductive ability), hormonal treatment of the donors for the induction of superovulation, fertilization of the donors, embryo recovery from the donors, evaluation of embryos recovered and embryo transfer to the recipients by either surgical or non-surgical methods which would complete the pregnancy and give birth to a calf. While each stage is simple and must be carried out properly in coordination with all preceding and subsequent steps.

The training on donor selection and preparation, embryo flushing and transfer took place in RAB-Songa, Rubona, Nyanza Small Holder Farms (SHF) and is on-going in RAB-Musanze Station (Kinigi. The flushed embryos are transferred fresh and the rest are frozen. The 15 Frozen jersey embryos were transferred to the recipients in small holder farms located in Kibirizi and Muyira sectors in Nyanza Districts. The 14 donor cows were prepared and 13 cows were non-surgically flushed and 45 Recipients received Embryos in RAB Songa and Rubona Stations. The 49 Transferable Embryos and 14 unfertilized Embryos were flushed.