FRANCE (by Jean Llewellyn/press release) The inauguration of a new site under the French national ‘cryobank’ project took place on September 18, 2015, when the first equine sperm bank opened at Haras du Pin in Normandy.
Michèle Tixier Boichard, president of GIS Cryobanque, and coordinator of the project financed by the National Research Agency, explained that the national cryobank project was launched in 1999 and includes 12 partners representing 13 different species, including horses and mules. The purpose of the national sperm bank is to preserve and perpetuate the genetic diversity of different French breeds. The cryopreservation1 technique uses liquid nitrogen to preserve biological samples which, in equine terms, means the conser vation of semen, with the hope of embryos being included in the near future as soon as the technique is mastered.
This project is a response to the major scientific challenges facing with regard to the erosion of species biodiversity. Through this project, teams hope to improve two specific techniques: stallion semen freezing, and equine embryo freezing, and fund is also currently being used to increase the national sperm bank’s heritage collections.
Another important area was to finance a move for the equine site to the Haras du Pin from its previous location at the Bréviaires national stud. The choice to transfer the site was the ob- vious advantage of close proximity to experts in reproductive technology and equine genetics, and the development of a research department. Additionally, the creation of Haras du Pin as a crybank centre of expertise and research completes the formidable equipment already on site...