Wanted: NZTBA members' views on AI

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has asked the NZTBA for their response regarding the level of support among our members to raise the A.I. issue with the International Stud Book authorities and open up the debate for industry discussion.

The Council has decided to canvas members to assess the level of interest and opinion on Artificial Insemination.

The Council believes it is important to discuss the issues surrounding A.I. and consider whether the time has come to at least develop an international protocol which can be used in the event of a catastrophic equine disease problem.

An excellent article on the subject was published in the September 2006 issue of the UK Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder. If members wish to obtain a copy of the article, please email our Membership Secretary Janine Wallace: janine@nzthoroughbred.co.nz or phone the National Office on 09 525 2428.

In responding to the NZTBA with your opinion on AI, it is important to understand the existing international rule for entry to the Stud Book. Article 12 of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities' Agreement states:

A Thoroughbred is a horse which is recorded in a Thoroughbred Stud Book approved by the International Stud Book Committee (Appendix 8) at the time of its official recording.

For a horse to be eligible to be recorded in an approved Thoroughbred Stud Book all of the following requirements must be satisfied:
1.1 The horse must be the product of a mating between a sire and a dam, both of which are recorded in an approved Thoroughbred Stud Book or either or both must have been promoted from a Non-Thoroughbred register under the terms set out in Article 13 paragraph 4.1.

2.1 The Thoroughbred must be the result of a Stallion's mating with a Mare which is the physical mounting of a Mare by a Stallion with intromission of a penis and ejaculation of semen into the reproductive tract. As an aid to the mating and if authorised by the Stud Book Authority of a country certifying the Thoroughbred, a portion of the ejaculate produced by the Stallion during such mating may immediately be placed in the reproductive tract of the Mare being bred.

As you will see from the above, if New Zealand was the only country to allow A.I., the resultant foals would not be recognised by the ISBC and accordingly would not be permitted to race anywhere except New Zealand. Therefore we must stress that there is no possibility of this happening and your feedback is sought purely on the basis that the issue is to be raised for discussion only at an international forum. The introduction of A.I. to New Zealand would require the unanimous agreement of all the major thoroughbred breeding nations.

Other factors you may wish to consider in your response:
1 The risk of genetic overuse
2 Semen transportation issues
3 Advantage/disadvantages to the broodmare owner
4 Advantage/disadvantages to the stallion owner
5 Access to international stallions
6 Any veterinary or animal welfare issues
7 Veterinary advantages/disadvantages
8 Economic advantages/disadvantages
9 The overuse of popular stallions
10 Would this be the first step towards embryo transfer, sexing of sperm and cloning?
11 The importance to New Zealand of an international agreement on the use of A.I.

Please email your response to the NZTBA National Office by Monday 7th May 2007; or post it to NZTBA, Private Bag 99908, Newmarket, Auckland; or fax your comments to 09 525 2434.

All responses will be aggregated without reference to indiviudal NZTBA members to help NZ Thoroughbred Racing gauge the level of support for, or opposition to, raising the AI issue with the International Stud Book authorities.

- NZTBA National Office


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