Rapid stallion fertility test
- Animal biotech companies interested in developing new products and services
- Veterinary supply companies interested in developing new products and services
- Human biotech companies interested in expanding the technology to human applications
Industry challenge: Horse breeding is impacted by a lack of data on the fertility and virility of a stallion at the time of mating. At present a post mount sample of the stallion's semen is sent to a vet for analysis which can take a significant amount of time. If the results show that a stallion has low fertility or virility, all mares that have been serviced while waiting for the test results need to be scheduled to be serviced again. This results in additional costs to stallion owners and time lost within a limited breeding season window. While this is a challenge for all horse breeds, it is of greatest economic impact in the thoroughbred industry due to the requirement to utilise live covers. There are between 20,000 and 25,000 serves conducted within the Australian thoroughbred industry each year. This is a worldwide challenge for the thoroughbred and the broader equine industry.
Current opportunity: AgriFutures Australia and the University of Newcastle have developed a test cartridge and processing implement that tests the fertility and virility of a stallion at time of service. The almost instant results allow for the stallion to continue, or stop, servicing mares based on accurate data. The device reduces costs, time and increases stallion welfare. An opportunity exists for biotech and veterinary services companies to commercialise the technology.
Other opportunities: Opportunity exists to expand the technology into human health applications (e.g. home test kits) or other animal production systems (e.g. companion animals) where rapid testing improves health and economic returns.
***Read our related story - 'Novel fertility device set to drive value for thoroughbred breeding' here.
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