Legal challenge to Thoroughbred breeding rule goes to Court (AU)

Cross-posted from Horse Talk

A legal challenge to Australian thoroughbred rules requiring live cover of mares is scheduled to go before the federal court tomorrow.

The case has been brought by former Sydney bookmaker Bruce McHugh, who is challenging the industry’s restrictions on the use of artificial insemination.

He argues that denying the use of artificial insemination constitutes a restraint on trade under Australia’s Trade Practices Act.

The outcome of the case could have major repercussions for the thoroughbred industry. Tomorrow’s hearing will deal with preliminary matters before the substantive hearing, which is expected to be heard next year.

Fears within the Australian industry surround the potential loss of export trade, as major overseas thoroughbred markets would accept thoroughbreds for racing and breeding only if produced through live cover by a stallion.

Concerns have also been expressed over the potential narrowing of the thoroughbred gene pool if artificial insemination was permitted.

McHugh, who wants to be able produce racehorses through artificial insemination, is a former chairman of the Sydney Turf Club.

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