Race horse research unit will be closing in Newmarket

15 05 2007

thoroughbredhorse203.jpgThe BBC reports that the Equine Fertility Unit at Newmarket will be closing due to funding issues. Ten jobs will be lost and eighty horses put down. In the past, the EFU produced the first test-tube foal in Europe, and said it needed guaranteed funding of £450,000 a year for the next decade to continue its work.

The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, which funds the unit using cash from the Horse Race Betting Levy Board, said this was an unacceptable demand. Professor William Twink Allen, who heads the unit, said the decision to withdraw funding was a short-sighted move.

“I’m gutted really as it is a stupid and illogical decision. We’ve spent 20 years building the unit’s worldwide reputation and the staff to maintain this.

“To lose it for the want of £150,000 year in an industry where a lot of stallions charge that in a fee for a mare is short-sighted.”

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