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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Horse conservation scheme begins
Dartmoor ponies
Dartmoor ponies are classified as vulnerable
A nationwide scheme has begun on Dartmoor to conserve the country's dozen rarest breeds of horse.

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust began collecting semen from 10 Dartmoor ponies on Widecombe-in-the-Moor on Wednesday.

About 1,000 stallions from rare breeds across the UK will be evaluated over the next five to eight years.

The programme was launched a year ago, after the foot-and-mouth outbreak put many breeds at risk of dying out.

Vulnerable breed

So far, 750,000 of the 2.5m target has been raised.

The trust hopes to create semen banks for each rare breed to protect against future threats to the bloodline.

Dartmoor ponies are categorised as "vulnerable" by the trust, with many bloodlines in danger.

The programme continues on Thursday.


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See also:

22 Oct 01 | England
09 Oct 01 | England
06 Sep 01 | UK
29 Aug 01 | UK
13 Jul 00 | Wales
05 Nov 99 | Science/Nature
02 Oct 98 | UK
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