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  • Writer's pictureThe Show Circuit

Nightmare Fire at Australian Semen Lab

Yarram Herd Services Inc. lost not only valuable semen and tanks, but also equipment they use for herd testing and other services on Tuesday.

An early morning fire at a facility in the Gippsland region of Australia caused the loss of 100 semen tanks, their valuable contents and equipment used for other services provided through Yarram Herd Services. The company's Facebook page does say their records were preserved in the cloud, which should be a good reminder for all of us to have that backup of vital information in our farming and ranching businesses.

It took 10 fire crews a couple of hours to put out the flames, as they were hampered by the exploding tanks.

Aaron Thomas, the company's committee vice-chairman, told Australia's ABC the loss was a "huge blow" for farmers. "The actual cylinders are worth between $500 and $1,000 per unit but the semen inside them varies in price," he said. "We're coming into the AI (artifical insemination) season so there would have been substantial amounts of semen inside the tanks that we've lost, which was owned by our local farmers, and it can range in value from $5 per straw to $95 per straw.

"A lot of farmers would have semen stock in the building in those tanks, preparing for AI, so we've got that plus all of our herd-testing equipment that was in there as well," he told the news outlet. "So this is significant damage and it is going to have a flow-on effect on Yarram, especially after the drought that Yarram district has experienced over the last 12 months."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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