Artificial insemination (AI)

Artificial Insemination for Bitches © Juraj Mikurcik

Prior approval is not necessary to register a litter produced by AI provided that all of the following comply, and that the AI involves non surgical insemination:

Requirements for registration following AI

  • All litters produced by AI will be subject to existing Kennel Club registration regulations.
  • The General Committee will not normally accept an application to register an AI litter if the donor male is alive and domiciled in the United Kingdom, with one exception namely, that Irish Wolfhounds of 8.5 years or older and domiciled in the UK may be used as donors in AI.
  • In the case of sterile dogs which have become sterile simply due to general degeneration, Committee will accept applications but normally only if the dog is over 12 years age (or 8.5 years for Irish Wolfhounds) and with appropriate veterinary support.
  • Maiden sires / dams - litters produced by AI from maiden dogs or bitches may be registered, but the Kennel Club will not register a litter produced by AI from one of their progeny, unless the said progeny has already produced at least one registered litter naturally or the sire/dam subsequently produces a litter naturally post the AI litter. 

If none of these conditions is breached, then the owner need only ensure that the AI form (Form 2) is completed and submitted along with the litter application form (Form 1) at the time of registration.

If however the AI application does not satisfy all of these requirements, then individual cases will have to be made and registration will be at the discretion of the Kennel Club General Committee. If the submission involves the use of surgical insemination, the case must be accompanied by a declaration from a veterinary surgeon as to why this particular procedure is/was necessary.

Methods of Insemination

There are two general methods adopted for insemination:

a) Non-surgical, which is usually done trans-cervically using a catheter and/or an endoscope

b) Surgical, requiring general anaesthesia

These approaches have different 'welfare debts' for the bitch being inseminated. It is generally considered that the 'welfare debts' of the non-surgical methods are extremely low and so the benefits from using AI need not be too large to justify the use of this technology to achieve insemination. For this reason, the Kennel Club will allow registration of AI litters produced from non-surgical approaches, provided that all of the above requirements are met.

The Kennel Club is advised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons that surgical insemination as described in b), has "many disadvantages for the bitch", and so has a higher 'welfare debt'. This means that the benefits accrued from its use will have to be considerable to offset this 'welfare debt'.  The RCVS advises veterinary surgeons that surgical AI is justified "only for exceptional reasons", and requires the vet to "record in the bitch's clinical records why trans-cervical insemination is not a practical option and the justification for the invasive procedure".

The Kennel Club will therefore require justification of the net benefit to the bitch in conceiving as a result of this "invasive procedure".

Any questions on these procedures should be addressed to the Health & Breeder Services Department.

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