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Investigation
Puppy power: fertility clinics on the rise

Statistics from Altmetric.com

By Josh Loeb and Eleanor Evans

There has been a sharp increase in the number of specialist canine fertility clinics in the UK over the past five years, an analysis by Vet Record has revealed.

There are now at least 37 such clinics in operation nationwide.

Many are not run by vets and do not have a vet on site but appear to offer veterinary services such as blood sampling and caesareans. In two cases clinics have advertised canine surgical artificial insemination (AI), a banned procedure (see p 141). There is no evidence that they have performed the procedure since it was banned in 2019.

The boom in clinics has happened at the same time as the number of puppies born following AI has dramatically increased.

In the past three years alone there were more canine AI births than during the entire 17-year period between 1998 and 2015, Kennel Club figures indicate.

The trend has been linked to the rise in the popularity of brachycephalic breeds.

Precise figures for the number of canine fertility clinics are hard to come by. However, a BBC article about dog breeding dating from 2015 described how a canine fertility clinic in Surrey was noteworthy for being one of the only businesses of its kind in operation …

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