On July 30, in Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture v. American Quarter Horse Assoc., a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas found that the organization that runs the world’s largest horse-breed registry violated federal and state antitrust laws by not allowing cloned animals on its prestigious registry. The gravamen of the suit, which was brought by two breeders, was that the association that runs the registry was operating an illegal monopoly by excluding cloned horses. The association argued that its rules were fair because they merely required that each registered horse must have a registered father and registered mother (which necessarily would preclude cloned horses). The association also argued that it had the right to set its own rules so long as they were fair and lawful.
Though the jury did not award the breeders any of the $6 million in damages they sought, it did award the breeders the requested injunctive relief and the court recently affirmed the injunctive relief, giving the association 30 days to add cloned horses to the registry.