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A question that is often asked is how successful is AI ?

In late 1993 The AI Centre was asked to consider the feasibility of sending chilled semen from a Suffolk Punch stallion in Dorset for use on a mare in North Carolina, USA.

Never ones to turn down a challenge they set about working out the logistics of the project. After meeting with one of MAFF's Divisional Veterinary Officers and working out that the quarantining and testing of the stallion could be done at home it was decided that the semen would be required in May 1994. As the stallion has to be quarantined for 30 days before semen for export can be collected this was obviously crucial. As soon as the mare in America came into season the stud in the UK was notified and all the necessary paperwork completed.

The biggest single problem was the transporting of the semen as no delivery service can guarantee delivery over that sort of distance.

Fortunately the Americans who wanted the semen had a fellow Suffolk Punch enthusiast who was also a pilot with American Airlines. Although he was on leave he offered to fly to London to collect the chilled semen in its Equitainer and hand carry it to Raleigh in North Carolina.
For further information about Equitainers click here

It was calculated that the mare would ovulate over a weekend and the semen was duly collected on the Thursday evening under the supervision of a MAFF appointed vet. The semen was extended and placed in an Equitainer which was then sealed and delivered early on the Friday morning to Heathrow Airport where we rendezvoused with the pilot. By noon that day the semen was on its way to the USA.

The USDA vets at JFK Airport had been advised of the semen's arrival and that it was vitally important because of the time factor that it be cleared as quickly as possible. From there it was flown to Raleigh in North Carolina and after that had a further two hour journey by road before it reached its destination at 11 PM Friday evening American time. The mare was inseminated immediately upon the semen's arrival.

The result of this transatlantic co-operation was a filly foal born in April 1995 and appropriately named 'April'. This illustrates that with the right sort of communication between the mare and stallion owners AI most definitely does work!

This article is kindly provided by the AI Centre.
For further information please visit their website -click here
The AI Centre
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