Pittsboro, NC, USA – Texas A&M University and The Livestock Conservancy have published a much-needed guide for veterinarians, breeders and horse owners to conserve valuable genetic materials from horses and donkeys. These samples of sperm, eggs, or tissue may represent the last remaining genetic information from a valuable horse, bloodline, or breed.

The manual was created as a resource for owners and everyday veterinarians to understand how to properly collect vital tissues in ways that minimize loss and maximize resources for conservation. The tissues can then be sent to specialized facilities that can “work the magic” to utilize and preserve what could be irreplaceable genetics for the future.

Authors Kindra Rader, Charles C. Love, Charlene R. Couch and Katrin Hinrichs provide detailed information and emergency protocols for veterinarians and owners that make it possible for any veterinarian or horse owner to preserve priceless genetics—even after the animal’s life has ended.

Originally conceived as a resource for conserving rare equine breeds, the manual contains detailed protocols for saving sperm, eggs, and tissue samples from live animals and post-mortem emergency situations. Many of the techniques are directly applicable to the conservation of other mammalian species.

The manual is available for free to download on the Livestock Conservancy’s website, and is being widely promoted among equine health and conservation organizations.

Bound copies of the 67-page resource is also available at the Livestock Conservancy’s online store.


“It is important that we take advantage of the latest tools and technologies to preserve our native equine breeds. This manual is the gateway for owners and veterinarians in understanding what is available and how to take advantage of new methods in order to preserve vital genetic diversity for endangered breeds.”

Tullis Matson
Trustee, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Managing Director, Stallion AI Services / Cryogenetics


“New discoveries in genetic technology offer almost unimaginable promise in ways to preserve the genetic diversity of living organisms and have a special place in the effort to save endangered animals. However, if we do not have the genetic tissues of the organisms to apply these new genomic technologies then the battle is lost. This manual by Drs. Hinrichs and Couch provides the information that the people in the field or clinics have long needed to preserve biological materials that could make the difference in whether or not a species or breed avoids extinction and sticks around to enrich the lives of humanity. A companion like this has long been needed and to get a volume of this quality by true experts is a unique blessing.”

Dr. E. Gus Cothran
Professor Emeritus
Texas A&M University


“Horse conservation is one of the most difficult breed conservation challenges that we face at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Behind all effective breed conservation is reproduction, because without reproduction there is no next generation. This manual offers key reproductive tools for horse breeders. It especially helps to assure that rare horses with essential genetics have multiple avenues for participation in effective breed conservation. If these techniques are broadly used, the challenges facing horse breeds will have an effective and practical solution.”

Dr. D. Phillip Sponenberg
Livestock Conservancy Technical Advisor
Professor Pathology/Genetics
Virginia Tech University