Racehorses must have physical sex for their foals to be considered thoroughbreds, an Australian judge ruled, upholding an international requirement that prohibits the use of artificial insemination.
Federal Court Justice Alan Robertson in Sydney today dismissed a bid to make the country the first to allow artificial insemination for thoroughbreds, following a trial that spanned four months and concluded Dec. 19, 2011. He cited potential international consequences as a reason for his ruling.
Bruce McHugh, a former chairman of a Sydney racing club, sued thoroughbred authorities to legalize the use of artificial insemination, arguing the ban on the practice was an illegal trade restraint as he seeks to start a breeding business. The suit, which threatened to upset traditions behind horseracing’s appeal to kings, queens, sheikhs and billionaires, according to Tony Bannon, attorney for the defending Australian Turf Club, could have “downgraded” the status of thoroughbred races held in Australia, if upheld, Robertson said. [Bloomberg]
Noooo! Think of all the downgraded horses! With the caveat that again, I know nothing of horse husbandry and really only am interested in this story because the idea of some judge having to write up a ruling about how horses have sex tickles me, the idea that the offspring of two animals is somehow vitally altered by the method of conception is...odd.