Intravaginal canine artificial insemination update

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has recently clarified that there is no exemption for anyone other than a veterinary professional to carry out intravaginal canine artificial insemination and The Kennel Club will be updating its information and forms for breeders to reflect this new position.

Previously the RCVS had always maintained its advice that, as a minor procedure, suitably qualified lay people could carry out this type of AI – a position that The Kennel Club reflected – and it sought an exemption order from Defra to this effect. However, such an exemption, sought by the RCVS in 2019 and 2022, has not been confirmed by Defra and therefore, without this formal legal basis and given the length of time that has passed since the recommendation was made, the RCVS is now unable to maintain its previous position that lay people can carry out the procedure, and The Kennel Club’s requirements on the matter have to change to reflect this new position.

Whilst artificial insemination can have numerous practical and welfare benefits, The Kennel Club understands the ethical concerns around the practice, particularly following the increase in the number of unregulated fertility clinics, and that it must be carried out responsibly in order to protect dog welfare. However, it is disappointing that the RCVS’s request for an exemption order for suitably qualified lay people – which reflects the fact that this type of AI is a minor procedure – has not been forthcoming. The Kennel Club seeks reassurance that the already overstretched veterinary infrastructure can support the needs of responsible breeders, who will no longer have the remit to carry out this procedure themselves, and whilst it recognises and is concerned about the rise in unregulated canine fertility clinics, it does not believe that this is the solution to the issue.

The Kennel Club will be updating its information and forms accordingly. More information on this update from RCVS is available on their website.