ITBF General Meeting in South Africa

The International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation met in Cape Town on the 8th -10th January 2017.

The Open Veterinary Forum had a stimulating and interesting program compiled by Dr Des Leadon, the ITBF Veterinary Chair.  The Forum was held over two days and included sessions on Infectious Diseases, Genomics, Review of Global Racing and Breeding Industries, Sustainability and Welfare, Veterinary Advances and the Interface with the Insurance Industry.

The formal meeting of the ITBF was held on Tuesday 10th January.  Dr Des Leadon presented a report on Infectious Diseases and the Veterinary Forum.  The meeting highlighted breeders’ grave concerns regarding vaccine availability with particular emphasis on Equine Herpes Vaccine.

A recent case of a false positive Glanders test was reported to the meeting. This case, which arose in post-arrival quarantine in the USA is of particular concern because if a similar case were to occur at an international racing festival such as the Breeders’ Cup, it could have catastrophic consequences.

The delegates reviewed developments in the field of Genomics and, after consideration, unanimously agreed to adopt the statement by the ITBA (Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association), and the EFTBA (European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Associations),  on gene testing. The full statement can be viewed on the ITBF website.

Delegates also discussed the relationship between the Racing Industry and the Breeding Industry. Delegates placed particular emphasis on the important role that the ITBF should play and the need for a structure allowing greater continuity and action in between formal meetings.  The meeting unanimously adopted formal statutes for the ITBF creating an Executive Committee with representation from the four regions in global breeding – North America (including the Caribbean), South America, Europe and Asia (covering Asia, Oceania, Africa), plus a representative from the next host nation.

The Executive Committee of Grant Watson (North America), Pedro Hurtado (South America), Kirsten Rausing (Europe), Cameron Collins (Asia) and Dan Metzger (upcoming host nation, USA) appointed Kirsten Rausing as ITBF Chairman.

The out-going Chair, Susan Rowett of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of South Africa, concluded the meeting with a statement expressing the thanks to Kirsten Rausing for taking on the position and the confidence that the interests of all breeders would be furthered on the global stage by the new Chairman and the Executive Committee as empowered by the new formal structure.

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