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US Horse Registry Forced To Accept Cloned Horses 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the yea-or-neigh dept.
kdryer39 writes "U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lou Robinson said she will sign an order requiring the American Quarter Horse Association to begin allowing cloned animals to be placed on its registry, according to the organization. A jury last month ruled that the horse association violated anti-monopoly laws by banning cloned animals. The quarter horse association issues and maintains a pedigree registry of American quarter horses, a popular breed associated with cowboys riding on the range in the 19th and early 20th centuries."
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US Horse Registry Forced To Accept Cloned Horses

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  • ...but good luck getting the Japanese horse racing community to follow that lead...
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I don't see it. Horse breeding is not Horse cloning. Bad idea. Very bad. I can't even fathom the idea that they can force them to take cloned animals.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What I'd like to know is how are they creating a monopoly by banning cloned horses from being accepted in there registry?

        • Imagine if a quarter horse was cloned and became a hot breeding item. By restricting the registry to the master copy only, there would be only one source of "official" sperm, thus a monopoly.
          • Re:Ok, sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by marcello_dl (667940) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @06:05AM (#44562727) Homepage Journal

            It's not a monopoly if the item is scarce. What if I built an exact replica of a vintage Bugatti and then insist on having it registered as an official Bugatti? What if I built a hackintosh and insist on apple putting a serial number and a logo on it? The proper answer is "No, f*ck you!".

            Do the official registry prevent the creation of a cloned animals registry? Let the damn market choose which registry to consider.

            In freedom, one could create the registry of ogm free stuff, male-only (or female-only, or white-only) clubs, and so on. As long as I don't hurt anybody, directly or with negative propaganda, nobody has any business interfering.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              It's not a monopoly if the item is scarce.

              What? You're nuts. Completely nuts. That has nothing to do with anything. It's a monopoly if you are the sole source. The whole point of a patent or a trademark is to grant a monopoly for the purpose of creating artificial scarcity! And that's precisely what the situation is here; anyone with the technology could theoretically clone one of these horses from something they found in a turd.

              • by Svartalf (2997)

                The main reasoning they have for this is to have a clone for a major producer under their own control (hint: Cloning a horse is rather expensive, really...quarter of a million) or if one were to die due to old age or accident to have a "backup" of something like Rocking Rodder or King so they can continue showing and breeding a prize stallion.

                Honestly, I'd love to have a "backup" of my $500 gem (She took the first-ever Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals in the Half-Arabian division and is 2012's Rese

              • There is no artificial scarcity here, there is natural scarcity and artificial abundance due to possible cloning. The keeper of the register do not want to consider clones, fine. Somebody else will do it? fine. This has nothing to do with patents, they did not patent what was already there, nor invent and claim anything.

            • by couchslug (175151)

              Bad analogy.

              A clone isn't a lesser replica, it's the same creature. The only reason to resist cloning is to provide an artificial barrier to entry.

              • First, it was a CAR analogy, which can't possibly be bad, by definition.
                Second, they do not resist cloning. They don't consider cloning as an equivalent to sexual reproduction. One could make a register with all the horses who actually were sons of couples who liked each other instead of being "forced" to copulate and not consider human assisted sexual reproduction as natural sexual reproduction. We would then be talking about a very conceptual barrier, so what? There is still no justification for third par

          • by flyneye (84093)

            SHHHHhhhhhhh, be quiet or the NFL will start getting into horses too...

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          ..they have a monopoly of horse registry, so they can decide what is a horse according to them.

          a cloned horse is still a horse, so they'll need to register it.

      • Re:Ok, sure... (Score:5, Informative)

        by tlambert (566799) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @10:30PM (#44560897)

        I don't see it. Horse breeding is not Horse cloning. Bad idea. Very bad. I can't even fathom the idea that they can force them to take cloned animals.

        The point of getting them registered is to allow them to breed, and their offspring to be on the registry, and to race. You don't necessarily have to race the clones for registration to be worthwhile, and given the premature senescence of clones such as Dolly, they likely are not very good for racing in any case.

        • by Svartalf (2997)

          It's not just to race. There's quite a bit more to the Registries than that.

          Let's see... It's to...

          - Race.
          - Show in Working Cow
          - Show in Cutting
          - Show in Ranch Sorting
          - Looking for specific characteristics for a horse for the task you're looking at one for.

          There's a whole host of things. Say, for example, you want to get a good-to-awesome Cutting horse to do real cattle work with. You're not going to just buy a horse and hope for the best (though some do...)- you're going to go look at who's won out of

      • by Camael (1048726) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @12:00AM (#44561407)

        Salient facts from TFA :-

        Two Texas breeders, rancher Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen, sued the American Quarter Horse Association last year, asserting the group was operating a monopoly by excluding clones. No other horse breeding registry allows cloned animals.

        The quarter horse association issues and maintains a pedigree registry of American quarter horses... stated in court that it is a private organization and has the right to decide its membership rules.

        What is more compelling is the statement from AQHA [equinechronicle.com] after the verdict :-

        When individuals with shared interests, goals and values come together to form a voluntary association to serve a common purpose, the members have a right to determine the rules for their association. The wisdom of our membership – which is largely not in favor of the registration of clones and their offspring – has not been upheld by this verdict.

        Seriously, now. If you don't like the rules of a voluntary association, work from within to change the rules. Or talk to them, negotiate to get them to accept you. Or leave, and form your own association with the rules you like. Going to court to force others to put up with you is so wrong.

        And yes, I dont't see where is the monopoly. The plaintiffs can still whatever they want with their cloned horses, breed them, sell them, race them etc. They just can't be registered with the AQHA.

        • by pthisis (27352) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @12:23AM (#44561513) Homepage Journal

          One issue is that AQHA runs large commercial races that are open only to its members. They're excercising market control by excluding certain animals based on arbitrary criteria; whether that's a monopoly power or not depends on your view of what constitutes the market in this case (the courts ruled that it is).

          For instance:
          In 1993, AQHA launched Quarter Horse horse racing's first series of races with a championship-ending day, called The Bank of America Racing Challenge. It is a series of 60 races run throughout North and South America with the winners of each race earning a starting berth into a season-ending Championship Day. The Bank of America Racing Challenge currently offers nearly $6 million in purse and bonus awards.

          • by Camael (1048726)

            One issue is that AQHA runs large commercial races that are open only to its members. They're excercising market control by excluding certain animals based on arbitrary criteria...

            And I don't really see what's wrong with that. It's their race, shouldn't they be allowed to set the rules?

            To cite another example, it is well known that cars that race in F1 championships have to comply with technical regulations [formula1.com] such as their size and dimensions etc. Can an upstart car company demand to be allowed to race with a car that doesn't meet those rules?

            • by pthisis (27352)

              That's a complicated question. I want to first make it clear that I'm not saying whether I agree with this decision or not. I don't know enough about the market to judge.

              But because the AQHA isn't just an informational list (it actually controls whether you're allowed to engage in certain commercial endeavors or not), it is subject to monopoly regulations. Monopolies are complex. If F1 were the only car-racing company of real size that existed, they would certainly be much more limited in what they coul

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          The monopoly is that if a horse is registered with them it and its offspring are more valuable. It has become a kind of de-facto monopoly because registration carries such weight and is required by many buyers and some other organizations.

          It's a monopoly because there is no alternative registry, and getting a new one accepted would be extremely difficult.

      • by rts008 (812749)

        I have to side with the AQHA on this, if for no other reason than the lineage/pedigree 'family tree' would get unwieldy and chaotic fairly quickly.
        IMHO, that would diminish the benefits of registering a horse with the AQHA, and cause major disruption.

        Not to mention, after a certain point, many folks would start to speculate on what else was happening during the cloning process....as in genetic manipulation. That's just the nature of folks that aren't educated/knowledgeable in that area of science.
        I remember

        • Not to mention, after a certain point, many folks would start to speculate on what else was happening during the cloning process....as in genetic manipulation. That's just the nature of folks that aren't educated/knowledgeable in that area of science.

          You seem to be suggesting that genetic manipulation of the clones is not a reasonable concern. How do you know that?
          Even if it isn't a realistic concern now, how do you know it will remain that way?

      • by flyneye (84093)

        They shouldn't comply and appeal it further. There are just some things the government needs to stay out of and things it needs to regulate from within, like the lawyer who made this about some farcical monopoly nonsense or the judge who let it stand. There needs to be a regulatory commission for the bench and the bar that watches for silly loophole misinterpretations and rectifies the situation with baseball bats and garden shears when violated. Hey, tomato plants produce better fruit when beaten and prune

      • by Ash Vince (602485) *

        I don't see it. Horse breeding is not Horse cloning. Bad idea. Very bad. I can't even fathom the idea that they can force them to take cloned animals.

        It's very simple:

        The US has a great many companies involved in genetically modifying or cloning stuff. These companies donate substantial sums to the political parties that judges are appointed by. Any judge who allowed these companies to be put at any sort of commercial inconvenience would find themselves very unpopular with the people who ultimately have a large say in them getting a promotion.

        Some judges might hold firm on matters of principle safe in the knowledge that they cannot be easily removed from

  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @10:54PM (#44561037) Journal

    If this registry were Microsoft, I wonder how the tone of the comments would change. Apparently, they have a monopoly on the registry. That opens them up for regulation. The cloned horses are legal, but their owners can't register them without creating a whole new register and trying to compete, which is too steep a hurdle because... it's a monopoly. So. As long as the registry is allowed to mark the horses as clones, I don't see a problem with this ruling. That way, the clone owners get to register their animals, and people who don't want clones in a bloodline can look it up and exclude it.

    • I think Horse '95 would have put the company out of business. A horse that crashes each day will not mature enough to be sold.
    • Apparently, they have a monopoly on the registry

      That's because it is their own registry. Doesn't every organization have a "monopoly" on their own registry? Doesn't every club have a "monopoly" on determining who is a member, and who isn't?

    • by dcw3 (649211)

      From a legal viewpoint, I don't believe that all this talk of monopoly matters one iota unless the organization has been legally declared one in a court of law. IANAL, so maybe someone can confirm/deny that.

  • So, as I understand it, a cloned horse is where you take the DNA from a horse and put it into a donor egg to fertilize it with a complete chromosomal genome. Right, so, as we all know, the cell has other genetic material (mitochondrial DNA, for example). So, it's a fact that the initial cloned animal cell does not have ALL the same DNA that the initial fertilized egg had. If only the clone's chromosomal DNA is the same as the donor, then the cloned animal fertilized with nuclear DNA is not completely identical to the parent, and the clone WILL NOT produce the exact same genetic lineage that the host did -- Unless in the case of a female cloned via its own eggs? Registering studs means they of course do not produce their own eggs for cloning...

    Mitochondria are key to the ATP energy cycle of cells; Thus the cloned animal and its offspring may not perform the same athletically as the parent.

    In other words: It means that the Cloned Horses should be marked as such in the registry, and the Mother cell donor should be listed -- It's a whole other connectivity graph whereby instead of mixing the nucleic genomes, we are preserving the nucleic genome of the father and mixing it with the non-nucleic genome provided by the egg donor...

    And you thought re-engineering a database to allow more sexes than just M or F was a pain? Yeah, I can see why the other registries would put off accepting clones.

    Note: I work with artificial cybernetic genomes. I'm not a geneticist, but I felt this needed to be stated since I didn't see such posted above.
    Today's cloning is not like calling Object.clone(); It's more like overriding most of the inherited object's methods having to do with appearance and structure, etc. but not all of them. Oh fine, it's like copying a complete car, but modifying the fuel injectors... Normal folks won't care but if you're racing them it might make a big difference.

    Please do correct me if I'm wrong.

    • You're absolutely correct.
      People talk of producing artificial clones that are exact genetic copies of the original organism, but this has never been done. The cloning process is rife with transcription errors.
      These so-called clones may look the same as the original, but there are always differences. That's why these "clones" nearly always have significantly shorter life spans than the original organism.
  • What about if they start tweaking it ?
  • Are we still limiting the registry to horses with only four legs?

  • I don't understand why you would go to the effort and expense to clone a common quarter horse, but some of the more rarer breeds, particularly those with closed stud books, have to resort to in-breading on occasion to maintain the breed. this is a good thing for them.

  • The horses are already registered, just bump the version number by 1.

  • That way people who care can filter the cloned horses from the list.

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