New CSU Semen Facility Meets International Standards

The new stallion barn at Colorado State University’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory, specifically designed to meet the requirements for exporting semen internationally, is now complete and prepared to handle client requests around the world.

The new facility is comprised of 1,200 square feet for semen collection, a barn to house 10 stallions for the breeding season and expanded laboratory space for the freezing, storage, and export of semen. Construction costs were more than $300,000. Generous gifts from Gail Holmes and Herbert Allen of Double Dove Ranch and Shirley Hoffman of Hi View Acres, both of Longmont, Colo., made the building possible.

“In order to meet USDA and EU requirements, the facility must have appropriate laboratory space and equipment, an area for the safe collection of semen, and appropriate facilities for housing stallions,” said Dr. Ed Squires, professor of biomedical sciences at the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory (ARBL) at Colorado State. “We are dedicated to offering our clients the best possible services. In order to do that, it meant expanding our facilities to meet all their needs. We feel we can now offer the best reproductive services available since, with the new approval rating, we can also export semen anywhere in the world.”

From January to July, the Equine Reproduction Laboratory (ERL), part of the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, handles nearly a hundred stallion clients from around the United States. The new facility will allow the staff to increase and extend research that is vitally important to the equine industry.

Currently, the ERL offers client services that include the collection and freezing of semen for international export, semen storage, fertility evaluations, and the breeding of mares using either fresh semen, cooled shipped semen, or frozen semen.

As a global business, equine reproduction typically was an expensive, arduous, and often dangerous enterprise that frequently required live animals to be shipped across the country or across oceans and continents to mate the right bloodlines. Today, thanks to modern science and technology, the process has become safer and easier for owners and participants.

Since 1967, the ARBL has engaged in research in animal reproduction. Many of the breakthroughs in this field have come from the ARBL, including:

  • first foal born from oocytes harvested from a deceased mare and shipped across country
  • procedures for cooling and shipping embryos
  • procedures fro freezing embryos
  • first foal from sperm injections
  • first foal from oocyte transfer
  • first foal from frozen/thawed oocyte
  • identical twins from split embryos
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