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Written by: Staff
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Babugarh, UP, Mar 2 (UNI) The Indian army has produced the subcontinent's first horse foal by developing equine embryo transplant technology (ETT) in the country.

The healthy baby stallion, born last month by embryo transfer technology, was named 'Army Pride-Gaurav' by Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen S Pattabhiraman in the Equine Breeding Stud (EBS) here today.

In 2005, under the leadership of Commandant of the EBS, Col Deepak Badial, research was conducted by Lt Col Devender Kumar and the embryo transplant technology developed for the first time in the Indian subcontinent.

The procedure for ETT is very technical and requires quite hygenic conditions, Lt Col Devender Kumar told reporters.

By this technology, in 2005 EBS Babugarh achieved 38 pregnancies in mares at fertility rate comparable to the natural service and got the first foal 'Army Pride-Gaurav' last month.

For the birth of 'Gaurav', a stallion named 'Passion' was selected to fertilise a mare of selected breed. Later the embryo from that mare was transplanted into the other mare for growth and birth, the RVC officer added.

Commending this leap of Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) as a''much needed fillip to equine breeding,'' Lt Gen Pattabhiraman said by this a major ''hurdle'' has been crossed (to get the quality breeds of horses in the country).

Asserting that finance has not much consideration, he stressed on the production of ''quality breeds of horses'', keeping in view the international sports competition and needs of Indian military as well.

The Vice Chief of Army Staff also inaugurated a two-day symposium on 'Application of Recent Biological Advances in Equine Reproduction', where distinguished experts of veterinary sciences from civil as well as RVC would share technical knowledge on horse-breeding.

Colonel Commmandant of the RVC, Lt Gen A S Bahiya while referring to Operation Vijay in Kargil sector said livestock in army had proved its mettle in transportation during the war and ''their need would remain in years to come''.

''Focused efforts are needed'' to face the challenges in research and development, he added while addressing the galaxy of experts in the field of veterinary sciences.

In his address, former Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of National Task Force on Biotechnology Dr M P Yadav said, ''It is the beginning and technology has to be carried on.'' ''It (technology) is to be used in exploiting best of the males and females to get good and useful breeds'' he said while emphasising on the role of livestock in the economic growth of the country.

UNI VJ RP RK1725

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