ITBF Policy on Genomics & Genetic Testing

The ITBF, Chaired at its 2017 meeting by the TBA of South Africa, agreed to adopt the EFTBA stance on genetic testing at the General Meeting in Cape Town on 10th January 2017.

The ITBF voted on, and conclusively agreed upon, the following wording, previously adopted by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Associations:

  • After careful consideration the ITBF has concluded that it sees no value at present in the widespread usage of performance test genomics (speed gene testing).
  • It was felt that these tests have significant potential to adversely affect the existing pattern of racing and the practices and valuation system of the breeding industry.
  • It is recognised that some individuals may wish to continue to use this test and they are of course free to do so,
  • But the ITBF will not host meetings (or use its offices to circulate literature), that would be used to promote use of performance test genomics.
  • The commercial companies that market these tests are of course entitled to host their own meetings and anyone, breeder or otherwise, is entitled to attend them.
  • The ITBF recognises that the science of Genomics has found application in other livestock industries, but for very different goals / production traits, than those of the thoroughbred industry.
  • The ITBF also recognises that Genomics has been shown to be of value in the identification of predisposition to disease and other health related issues.
  • The ITBF considers that this science could, in carefully controlled and monitored studies, provide some benefits in this regard to the thoroughbred industry and further consideration will be given to this use of this science, in collaboration with academic institutions.


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