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Twink Allen renews calls for introduction of AI

PROFESSOR Twink Allen has stepped up his campaign for the abolition of the rule banning artificial insemination by hittingout at the big stallion owners.

The former director of the TBA Equine Fertility Unit in Newmarket claims that they are deliberately standing in the way of what he regards as progress.

Foal - Coolmore

Allen says AI will not necessarily lead to increased book sizes

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

He said: "The stallion owners are frightened of change and a few financially powerful ones simply refuse to discuss AI - and it's the numerically larger but financially smaller mare owners who suffer.

"A handful of wealthy stallion owners are afraid of it and frightened by a change in the status quo. In their minds, they see their stud farms would diminish or disappear."

Allen was speaking on Thursday at the International Breeders Seminar, organised by the Cape Breeders Club, at Somerset West near Cape Town.

He called the rule "antiquated" and added: "Wehave gone on too long with this attitude of ‘we are not going to talk about it, go away.

"We must discuss it.  AI reduces the risk of venereal disease, mating injuries and uterine infections. It also cuts down on the amount of labour required.

"People say that it will lead to the most popular stallions inseminating huge numbers of mares but that's not going to happen.

"In the American Standardbred world, where they do use AI, the numbers of mares per stallion have actually come down because breeders don't want to flood the market with too many yearlings by the same sire. The same would happen in the thoroughbred world."

Allen intends spreading his message around the globe and in January he will address a large group of American breeders in Kentucky.

He is also in touch with Bruce McHugh, the former Sydney Turf Club chairman who is taking the Australian Stud Book to court. McHugh maintains that the anti-AI rule is a restraint of trade and therefore illegal.

"It is now high time that the existing ban on the use of AI and ET in Thoroughbred breeding be reviewed in light of the very obvious potential health, welfare and economic benefits," said Allen.

 

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