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‘AI Club’ formed to protect new profession

The proposed Veterinary Surgery (Artificial Insemination of Mares) Order, which is expected to come into force in autumn 2002, will make it legal for ‘lay people’ to carry out equine Artificial Insemination, but only once they have successfully completed an approved training course. The move will ensure that the welfare of the horse is protected and that mares have the greatest possible likelihood of conception through AI. It has led to the launch of a new professional body to govern standards of practice within the industry and to give horse owners peace of mind.

In the same way that you expect your farrier to fulfil strict professional criteria, The AI Equine Trade Association has been set up to support and monitor the interests of the growing number of individuals passing the new, DEFRA approved AI of Equines Technicians training courses.

Dr Jonathan Pycock MRCVS commends the introduction of the new association. He said: 'The initiation of an AI Equine Trade Association is a very welcome step to hopefully maintain (and in some cases improve!) standards for those involved in the various procedures of equine artificial insemination.'

The good news is that the training courses, approved by DEFRA in consultation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, will be running each winter and are open to anyone, providing an excellent freelance career option. They last from two to three days, cost from £400 and qualifiers are eligible for membership of The AI Equine Trade Association. Membership is already international and includes stud owners and managers, stud grooms, veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and equine studies students.

For further information on The AI Equine Trade Association telephone secretary Liz Wilkinson on 01948 664966 email or visit the website at


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