By WBN editorial team

Editor’s intro: The article in our July issue (page 29) under the title ‘The semen market: Like playing Russian roulette’, provoked responses from a cross-section of the breeding industry, including both stallion and mare owners, as well as studbooks (see Norbert Camp’s editorial column on page 7 in this issue). The feedback has been both enlightening and welcome, and may serve to perhaps move the debate in new directions.

For this reason, World Breeding News will continue to publish comments from known and reputable sources, respecting the fact that the majority of respondents prefer to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
Ironically, one over-riding response to the contents of the previous article was that stallion owners need to shoulder more responsibility for what is perceived as certain shortcomings – although this perhaps oversimplifies a global problem.... Or not! Rather than trying to create order out of the feedback received, we are publishing direct quotes – some of which overlap in context – that are published in no particular order.
• It’s a recognized fact that straws of frozen semen are being sold and resold, often internationally and over which there is no control by EU rules and regulations, if that’s where the stallion is based and/or the semen originated.
• Once semen leaves its country of origin, that country’s laws no longer apply with regard to contractual obligations. (Editor’s note: As it happens, a firm specializing in international retail sales law states the following: ‘International Sales fall under the United Nations’ Conventions on Contract for the International Sale of Goods (CISG).’ Therefore, any international sales can be governed by laws and regulations of two or more different countries, assuming a sales contract has been correctly worded when its issued.)
• Contracts are often not explicit with regard to semen use.
• Many stallion owners use agents that may be purchasing semen with the express intention of selling it for a mark-up price, and perhaps also receiving commission from the seller. In other words, instant gratification profits, and financially ‘double dipping’.
• As a mare owner I have received semen from some quite well-known studfarms who provided no sales contract or conditions of use.
• Unless stallion owners provide the necessary documentation that controls the use of semen, they can’t later complain about misuse, or what they deem to be instances of malpractice...

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