Reuters — A U.S. horse association soon will be required to add cloned horses and their offspring to its prestigious registry, a federal judge in Texas ruled last week.
The decision could encourage cloning and open the way for the animals to participate in lucrative horse races.
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.
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.
A jury last month ruled that the horse association violated anti-monopoly laws by banning cloned animals.
The judge did not rule on the plaintiffs’ request for an award of nearly $900,000 in attorney fees, according to the horse association.
No other horse-breeding registry allows cloned animals, although the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association allows cloned horses to compete in rodeos.
Some quarter-horse owners and breeders have complained that cloned animals have an unfair advantage because they are selected according to superior genetic characteristics.