Does anyone inseminate their mares themselves (ie non vet) using fresh/chilled semen?
If not WHY --- is it mostly to honor the clause in your shipped semen breeding contract?
Anonymous Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 10:00 am:
I have been wondering this myself lately. According to my state's general statutes, "no person shall practice veterinary medicine, surgery, or dentistry until he has obtained a license", i.e. can prove to the state board that he/she has graduated vet school.
A person engaged in veterinary practice is (in this instance) defined as "someone who holds himself out as being able to diagnose, administer biologics for, treat, operate or prescribe for any animal or bird disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition, or who either offers or undertakes, by any means or methods, to diagnose, administer biologics for, treat, operate or prescribe for any animal or bird disease, pain, injury, deformity, or physical condition."
However, the statutes also state that these provisions "are NOT applicable... to the OWNER of any livestock or his employee while administering to such livestock." (emphasis added)
It's perfectly legal for me to inseminate cows in my state (and I've done that), but I was recently told that it's illegal for me to inseminate horses unless I'm a vet. Was this person just trying to mislead me? Or is it just that the finer point of the law says I can only inseminate my own horses?
Anonymous Posted From: 188.8.131.52
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 12:07 pm:
Can someone comment on this? Jos?
Anonymous Posted From: 184.108.40.206
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 01:21 pm:
Well I know of people who collect their stallion on their property, and inseminate mmultiple ares AI on that same property from the collection.
I can't see how that is acting as a vet any more than giving your horse a paste dewormer (inserting a treatment into an orifice)
What about people who AI their own bitch dogs?
I can't imagine trying to be a lay person and trying to do some of the speciality stuff, like perhaps flushing a mare, doing a deep insem. or a castlicks.
I give my horses their own shots and to me that seems more iffy and risky than doing a 'simple' AI.
The only thing I can see is the stallion owner who SHIPPED the semen might have it in their clause that they want a licensed vet doing it to reduce the chances of flubbing up.
Jos Posted From: 220.127.116.11
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 08:17 pm:
The Statutes concerning AI by non-veterinarians varies from State to State and country to country. It is impossible to issue a generalised statement that will answer everyone's questions.
In the US, the State Veterinary Practice Acts generally exempt any procedure carried out on one's own animals, as outlined above. There are other laws concerning cruelty which prevent one performing say open-heart surgery without anaesthetic (remember that while it is usually fine to do the procedure on one's own animals, one still cannot get the drugs if they are prescription drugs).
With respect to AI specifically - again the laws will vary with your location. My own home Province (Nova Scotia, Canada) for example specifically exempts "AI of any species" from being a "veterinary procedure". I can therefore legally AI horses, cows, dogs, whatever. Other Provinces or States however may exempt cows, but not horses - the lobby from the cattle industry is far stronger than the horse industry. In some States or Provinces, a "common livestock procedure" may be exempt, and it is possible to argue that this would include equine AI. In yet other areas, it appears that AI is not exempt unless performed on one's own (or one's employer's) animals.
In the UK, AI has just been exempted as a veterinary procedure, but is only permitted to be carried out by licensed AI technicians who must have undergone (and passed) a DEFRA training course.
Check your local statutes for your own legal position.
My opinon? AI of horses is very easy, and there is no reason why anyone cannot receive adequate training to perform the process, and there should not be restrictions other than those covering the parameters of not acting in a cruel or inhumane manner. Note that my observations on this pertain only to the AI portion of the procedure and does not include palpations or ultrasounds (which while they may not be difficult to perform do carry risks to both the palpator and the animal, and should only be carried out by persons who have received training - not necessarily a veterinarian, but definitely trained persons). Breed registries generally require DNA typing from AI breedings, so the question of error or shenanigans does not enter into who does the AI. And as far as stallion owers requiring a veterinarian to perform the insemination - firstly many vets are not as competent as experienced laypersons in the field, and secondly, if the stallion owner is charging for collection and shipping, it is in the mare-owner's best interests to make sure that they get it right the first time (or in as few times as possible), or if they can't - get someone who can!
Anonymous Posted From: 18.104.22.168
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:10 pm:
I know several people in several states that perform their own AI. They have all attended classes of some sort at a college or technical school, to learn the technique. I don't believe there is any licensing available. The non-vets I know that do AI are usually inseminating large numbers of mares and have the vets do the ultrasounds to check if the mares are pregnant.
There is a fair amount of technique involved in AI'ing mares, so if a person only has 1 mare to do, I don't know if it's worth learning the technique and not putting it into practice more than once or twice a year.
I do know of one local facility that collects, ships and AI's with no vet on site. Nobody ever seems to have a problem. I don't believe that breeding is considered a medical or vetrinary treatment.
Most registries (that I'm aware of) don't require the inseminator to be a vet.
Anonymous Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 08:17 am:
but, some breeders require a vet to perform the insemination. If this is not done, it may void some of the terms of the breeding contract such as live foal guarantee, for example. Also, some registries require veterinary certification for the dates on which artificial insemination occurred. So, this may be an issue for some registries.
I AI all my own mares whenever I use chilled semen or on the rare occasions when I used frozen with a LFG. I attended a week-long course at Colorado State University. I always tell the stallion owner that I will be doing it, and ask is he/she ok with it (I've never had them say "no) and just change the contract to "vet or certified AI tech". I use a vet to help me perfect my timing and cut down on collections. I think that is the problem most stallion owners would have with non-vets doing the work -- in a busy season calling for semen over and over again because they can't get the timing right. But using a good teaser, some vet help with ultrasounds, etc. and the knowledge I have of my own mares, I get a far better conception % then I did when I took them to the vets.
Most large Standardbred Farms have an 'AI technician' who does all the inseminating. It cuts the cost down a lot. We always have a vet do all the ultrasounding and I just inseminate the mares. I also treat the mares with intrauterine antibiotic infusions if necessary.
I know in the Province of Ontario, inseminating horses is exempt as a veterinary practice. Oddly enough, in the Province of Alberta, I can legally inseminate horses and turkeys, but not cows (that includes horses I do not own). God only knows how you would inseminate a turkey. I guess that turkey baster has more than one purpose! ;)
On the contrary, AI in horses is easier than AI in cows. With the equine one places the hand directly into the vagina to guide the pipette through the cervix, whereas in the bovine, one guides the pipette rectally. The equine cervix is a (usually) straight and uncomplicated "tube"; whereas the bovine cervix has muscular ring complexes to negotiate the pipette through. Peritonitis is not a likely possibility associated with AI in the equine as the insemination has no rectal involvement. With the bovine, it is an unlikely sequela as well, as the bovine rectum is tough, but the possibility could exist.
Do not confuse the AI procedure with the determination of the correct timing of the AI though. In that instance, the equine is more difficult than the bovine. The estrus phase is longer in the equine (about 5 days vs. about 36 hours), so the pinpointing of the ovulation is therefore more difficult, and in that there is a higher risk of perforation of the rectum with the equine than the bovine, owing to the friable nature of the equine rectum, and that is why rectal work in the equine is most commonly performed by the veterinarian rather than the lay person.
I AI'd my BEST show horse myself, as the breeder was fine with it, they just REALLY wanted a foal, knowing it will be promoted me being a Western Pleasure trainer, I did it on the 4th night of her standing heat, I had her ultra-sounded at day 35, and AQHA mare "LUV MY PIZZAZZ" IS in foal! I was surprised with no sonograms leading up( measuring her follicles exc...), her being a maiden, only 1 insemination... BUT I am thrilled! That she took... It is so easy a trainer can do it, but I have assisted A LOT of AI's in my lifetime.
I'm going to have to look into it because after reading the American Warmblood Registry's Rule book only a certified veterinarian can do it, which is okay for me in that aspect but I need to know because if I can do it myself I'd like to be able to.
I'm surprised they have that requirement. They put any non draft pony or horse into their books at any age as long as you write a check then you have to DNA everything to boot. I can understand a stallion owner requiring it to make sure it went into the right mare and only that mare. But then I know of a vet that took the extra from a Trak. stallion home and put it in a shetland pony mare, 11 months later the mare had a gray foal just like daddy. If they require mare, stalllion and foal to be DNAed (I'm sure that is not a word) why does it matter who inseminated.
In my opinion AWR & AWS charge way to much for what you get in return. Their charges are about the same as or more than most of the "breed registries" that add much more value and creditablity to the horse than AWR & AWS do.
Whether its more expensive or not, I support the AWR and AWS and will end up paying the fees.
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