A New Athens pork farmer claims that boar semen purchased from a Minnesota supplier contained bacteria, according to a $300,000 negligence suit filed May 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

L&A Schilling Hogs LLC claims that in 2004 Genetiporc USA of Alexandria, Minn. provided tainted semen that cost up to $23 per dose. As a result, the farm suffered a substantial decrease in the farrowing rates of its sows and gilts, an increased number of non-productive sow days and a substantial decrease in pregnancy rates, the complaint states.

The overall health of Schilling's herd decreased beginning the fourth quarter of 2004, the complaint also states.

"Genetiporc was in the business of selling boar semen and held itself out to Schilling as having knowledge and skill peculiar to the sale of boar semen such that it is a merchant," the complaint states.

The suit claims that Schilling relied on Genetiporc's skill and knowledge to select suitable boar semen.

"The boar semen supplied by Genetiporc was not fit for the purpose of using it in the commercial pork production business...," the complaint states.

Represented by David T. Butsch, Matthew R. Fields and Nathan E. Ross of Green Jacobson & Butsch of Clayton, Mo., Schilling claims Genetiporc advised him that his herd problems were unrelated to the boar semen.

"Schilling attempted to identify the source of the problem," the complaint states. "These efforts included re-inseminating the sows and gilts, buying replacement animals and selling the under-producing/non-productive sows and gilts at below market value."

Schilling claims the farm incurred numerous expenses in an attempt to identify the source of the problem even though Genetiporc was aware of the source of the problem.

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