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Rare Breed Survival Trust appeals for semen once again

Mares-Foals.jpg

Owners of rare breed stallions are again being asked to help boost Britain’s threatened natives by putting their animals forward for semen collection.

The Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) has made £20,000 available this year to collect semen from up to eight stallions to be stored in its National Gene Bank as part of a scheme that was launched in 2002.

RBST covers the cost of the required pre-entry health checks, livery for the period that the stallion is at the stud, semen collection and storage and transport or fuel costs.

“Our stocks of equine genetic material are relatively limited and the long-term goal is to collect semen from 25 stallions from each of the 12 breeds on our ‘watchlist’,” said Claire Barber from RBST.

Many native British breeds are on the RBST’s “threatened” list, including Exmoors, dales, hackneys and Clydesdales.

And with less than 300 registered adult breeding mares, Cleveland bays and Suffolk horses are listed as “critical”.

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This article was first published in Horse & Hound (2 September, ’10)