Australia: AI opponents say breeder could set up rival circuit

by | 12.19.2011 | 7:35am

Closing arguments in an Australian case challenging the country's ban on artificial insemination in Thoroughbred breeding wrapped up Monday with a judge expected to issue a ruling soon.

Attorney James Emmett represents Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, which has urged the judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by breeder Bruce McHugh.  Emmett said instead of destroying the Thoroughbred industry as it now exists, McHugh could set up a rival racing circuit for Thoroughbreds bred by artificial insemination:

“McHugh can put A$1 million ($992,000) into a prize pool for a race and open it to horses bred through artificial insemination, Emmett said, arguing there's nothing to forbid him from doing that.

“That would be very attractive,” the lawyer said, noting most thoroughbred races in Australia have prize pools in the “very low six-figure range.”

“Should Australia allow artificial insemination, the race rankings, which determine a thoroughbred's rankings internationally, would be downgraded or eliminated, Emmett said.”

“You can't sensibly assess a horse's ranking in races involving thoroughbreds” and horses bred through AI, the lawyer said. It would be like comparing thoroughbreds and camels, he said.

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