Australia’s Ban on AI in Thoroughbreds Upheld by High Court

The federal court determined that the ban is not anti-competitive or a restraint on trade.

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Sydney, Australia, businessman and former bookmaker Bruce McHugh's efforts to overturn the country's ban on artificial insemination (AI) in Thoroughbreds has ended after the Australian High Court turned down his appeal.

McHugh began his effort to legalize AI in 2009, contending the ban was anti-competitive and restraint of trade. Artificial insemination is not allowed in Thoroughbred breeding under the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities' International Agreement.

In December 2012 Justice Alan Robertson ruled against McHugh. The federal court's turning down the appeal and determination that the AI ban is not anti-competitive or a restraint on trade apparently brings the case to a close.

"Had Mr. McHugh been successful in getting the ban on AI overturned, the Australian breeding industry faced the prospect of being ostracized on the world stage, with the possibility that horses bred domestically would have been barred from competing overseas or being recognized as Thoroughbreds in other jurisdictions," Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) said in a statement

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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