World Animal Day & The race to the bottom
4 October 2021
In early October, the typical breeding season for our sport horses in Western Europe comes to an end. The breeding of good sport horses continues to grow and Belgium can be proud of its position as one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to breeding the highest performing horses.
However, all this comes at a price... The increasing number of embryo transfers is putting pressure on the horse market and making good receptive mares increasingly important. A shortage of these mares means that basically all mares are used for this purpose, regardless of their physical condition. In recent months we have seen too many broodmares in very poor condition. Most of the cases referred to us suffered from serious dental disorders that had gone untreated for far too long.
To the horse breeders: only healthy mares will produce healthy foals. Saving (or trying to save) money on surrogate mares is economically senseless and ethically irresponsible.
To my colleague veterinarians who have a special interest in the horse's rear; remember that there's a horse connected to the womb your scanning! We must play our part as guardians of equine welfare and clearly define the conditions that a surrogate mare must meet before any embryo is transplanted.
On this World Animal Day I wish a better future for some of the broodmares.
Just some pictures for your information, mares are aged between 7! and 17 years old...