Decision was a natural one, say breeders

MANY Tamworth-based thoroughbred breeders have welcomed a ruling against the introduction of artificial insemination (AI) practices in the breeding of thoroughbred racehorses.

The issue of AI was brought to the floor by former bookmaker and chairman of the Sydney Turf Club Bruce McHugh who mounted the sole challenge against traditional breeding laws and practices under the Trade Practices Act.

The long-running challenge was dismissed by Justice Alan Robertson.

Principal of the Erin Park Stud in Tamworth, Mr Miller said the industry has avoided an international catastrophe as a result of the federal court judgment last week .

He said one of the many problems  a ruling in favour of artificial insemination practices would have been that horses conceived though the process would not have been recognised as thoroughbreds by the international Stud Book, effectively disqualifying them from competition.

“I think it was a good decision,” he said. 

“And most other breeders would agree.

“If it had been determined with a ‘yes’ it would have alienated Australia and the Australian Horse Racing industry from the rest of the world.”

Mr Miller said the whole idea of artificial insemination being allowed was a concern. 

He believes it would have spelt the end for some breeders financially.

“The impact of something like that would be the devaluation of blood stock and then other issues like the well being of the stallion,” he said. 

“When things happen naturally a stallion can sire only so many foals per season.

“If AI were introduced that number could be into the 

hundreds.”

At the end of the day Mr Miller said he believed the practices in place at the moment were working. 

“I don’t think they need to be changed, they have worked for hundreds of years,” he said. 

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