AQHA Cloning Forum to be Webcast

Members of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) who can't make it to the equine cloning forum at the 2009 AQHA Annual Convention in March can watch the event online in the members section of The forum Webcast will begin at 2 p.m. March 6.

"Based on member requests we've received, we are going to Webcast the cloning forum," said Bill Brewer, AQHA executive vice president. "We are fortunate that the forum lends itself to being Webcast so that more AQHA members have up-to-date information on equine cloning."

You must be an AQHA member and have a Personal Identification Number to login to and access the Webcast.

Within the past couple of years, commercial cloning of a number of horses, including American Quarter Horses, has been well publicized. However, under Rule 227(a) of the AQHA Official Handbook, a rule that became effective in 2004, American Quarter Horses produced by any cloning process are not eligible for registration.

The AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee first considered a proposed change to Rule 227(a) at the 2008 AQHA Convention. That proposed change would allow a live foal produced via a particular type of cloning to be registered if its DNA matches that of a registered American Quarter Horse. At that time, the SBRC recommended that any decision regarding the proposed change be postponed pending further study to be undertaken at the direction of the SBRC.

The proposed change to Rule 227(a) will again be on the SBRC agenda at the 2009 AQHA Convention March 5-9 in San Antonio.

Confirmed forum panelists include Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, a veterinarian involved in equine cloning at Texas A&M University; Sharon Spier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, an epidemiologist at the University of California-Davis; George Seidel, PhD, a professor specializing in biomedical sciences at Colorado State University; and Blake Russell of ViaGen.

AQHA anticipates the forum will include presentations by a panel of speakers from the equine industry and educational research institutions.

This forum is open to all interested AQHA members.

Following the forum, AQHA members will have the opportunity to leave online comments on the information presented. Comments will be limited to 100 words and need to be related to the topics presented during the forum.

"We know our members are interested in the topic of cloning," Brewer said. "We hope our members will provide some good feedback on the forum, while becoming more educated on the topic."

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