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Messara Warns AI In Aust "Would Be Lunacy"
Arrowfield Stud chief John Messara, in his 1st public comment on the controversial Artificial Insemination litigation begun this week in Australia’s Federal Court, stated the “consequences of the introduction of AI would be different to those which are contemplated by its proponent Bruce McHugh” (former leading bookmaker & Sydney Turf Club chairman). Messara emphasised that “rather than creating more competition, it would concentrate stallion power in the hands of the few farms who control the proven stallions at the top of the list.” He explained: “To date, conception by natural means has placed a lid on the number of mares each stallion can serve, but if that lid is lifted through AI the consequences could be dire for the industry. With breeders flocking to proven horses, huge numbers of mares would be inseminated by a small number of the most commercially desirable stallions & in this way there would be less competition, rather than more competition, among stallion owners. So while the stallion fees might reduce to accommodate the much larger books, the revenue of the big farms would increase substantially & that would lead to bigger profits, increased concentration of industry power & reduction of competition.” Messara also noted: “Then you have the impact on the gene pool. The few thousand mares that comprise the active band in Australia will be served by a handful of stallions; logic dictates that AI would be harmful to the diversity of the breed.” Messara also stated: “Of course, if AI were ever to be introduced into thoroughbreds in Australia, horses produced by means of AI & their progeny would not be regarded as thoroughbreds in other parts of the world & would not be able to compete internationally & would therefore be useless for breeding purposes internationally as well. This has the capacity to destroy the commercial viability of the thoroughbred industry in our country.” Messara concluded: “AI is not without its advantages in reducing the transmission of disease & assisting sub-fertile breeding stock, but the disadvantages far outweigh the possible benefits & I believe it would be lunacy to introduce AI into Australia.”