By Arnaud Evain (Chairman of Group France Élevage and SF Administrator; with the support of Stud Book Selle Français)
Whether amicably or at auction, via social networks or from catalogues of recognized stallion owners, it is becoming increasingly easy for breeders to obtain semen. It’s a process that may turn out to be highly interesting, but it can also turn into a nightmare. Arnaud Évain explains the benefits, the risks, and the precautions necessary before investing.
In the first half of the 1980s when the technique of artificial insemination of frozen semen (IAC) was made available to breeders, frozen semen straws were simply a way to honor a breeding contract. At that time, customarily, an insemination center was entrusted with 48 straws, allowing six inseminations with eight straws to be performed. The centres were few and far between and it was possible to return unused straws to a storage center at the end of the season… But, little by little, the marketing rules have changed.
As the number of insemination centers multiplied during the early 1990s, the larger ones got into the habit of retaining straws from year to year stored in liquid nitrogen. At the same time, the rise in the globalization of semen exchanges led some owners of leading stallions to sell straws to foreign agents. However, very few breeders could still claim ownership of their straws. Indeed, until the end of the last century, they continued to sell gestations to their customers by encouraging them to save the straws.
In the early 2000s, some stallion owners, upset by the mess of straws in some centers, began to change the game. The goal was then to offer their clients a limited number of straws at a very attractive price if they managed to obtain two or three gestations within the allocated quota for the first mare... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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