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Brood Mares and Embryo Transfer Terms and Conditions of Business

How we work

Towcester Veterinary Centre Equine Clinic (Towcester Equine) is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Tier 2 accredited Equine Practice. Customer satisfaction is very important to us and we believe every horse, pony and donkey deserves the highest standard of veterinary care, irrespective of age or breed. Every owner deserves exceptional customer service from a friendly professional team. We aim to be transparent in both the work we do for you and our terms of business. We have provided below the important details that you should know before choosing Towcester Equine to support your breeding programme. This will enable you to understand our obligations to you and yours to us.

When you request and before you accept our services for your brood mare, donor mare, recipient mare or stallion or purchase goods such as drugs and veterinary consumables, we expect all clients to read these terms in full before working with us, as by signing any paperwork, you are contractually agreeing to our Terms of Business.

Opening an Account

When choosing Towcester Veterinary Centres Equine division to care for your horse for the first time, you will generally be asked to pay for services or goods in advance or at the time of visit either by cash, or credit/debit card. Please be aware that when you ask us to open an account for you, it is normal practice to check our new clients’ credit rating with a credit reference agency. We may also require your permission to contact any previous veterinary practices to obtain your equine’s medical history and to check that you do not have any outstanding accounts or a negative credit history.

Our Fees

Our professional fees are determined by the time spent on a case and the drugs, resources, materials, and consumables used. All fees, consumables and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. We are always happy to provide written estimates for any procedure should you require one, however please bear in mind that any estimate we give can only be approximate, as often a horse’s illness will not follow a predictable or standard course. You can be assured however that the cost of prescription-only medicines is constantly monitored to ensure our prices are competitive.

  • Veterinary Fees: Sedation and additional reproductive treatment required beyond that included in AI packages will be performed when considered necessary by the clinic, as will treatment for non reproductive problems. All costs will be hargeable to the owner.
  • In Foal Fee: This applies to all mares on an ‘AI Package’ who are scanned in foal. If a mare leaves before her pregnancy scan, it will be assumed that she is in foal and the fee will be payable before leaving the clinic. If subsequently she is found not to be in foal before October 1st, and this is confirmed by a veterinary certificate, the ‘in foal fee’ will be returned.
  • Stud Fees: The mare owner must ensure any stallion stud fees have been paid prior to the time of semen needing to be ordered.
  • Embryo Transfer Fees: We charge on a ‘per pregnancy’ basis which minimises the risk of large additional costs to you without the achievement of an embryo pregnancy. We charge a non-refundable fixed Admission Fee which covers the routine work required to achieve an embryo pregnancy from up to 3 unproductive cycles (i.e. one that does not produce a 60 day embryo pregnancy). This includes donor mare Fresh/Chilled AI (there are additional charges for frozen AI), recipient synchronisation, uterine flushing, embryo transfer and post transfer recipient pregnancy (14 day, 25 day and 42 day scans). We do not include non-routine reproductive procedures (such as uterine lavages) in the

Admission Fee
Upon achievement of a 60 day embryo pregnancy, we charge an embryo pregnancy fee plus any associated recipient hire and keep costs if applicable.

Livery, semen collection, courier, postage, transport and other non-routine reproductive and clinical veterinary work are charged in addition.

If you have any questions, please contact our Practice Manager or one of the Practice Partners.

We charge for a pregnancy scan at 60 days. However if you get an independent scan and the recipient mare is found not to be pregnant, you have 7 days from the 60 day date to submit a certificate of non-pregnancy. We will then refund the embryo transfer fee, 60 day scan fee and the recipient fee if applicable.

SemenFees: All semen costs are the responsibility of the mare owner. Therefore there are often peripheral costs associated with semen such as collection handling, transport, postage and container fees. These are dependant on the centre collecting/sending the semen for the insemination and are the responsibility of the owner of the brood or recipient mare to settle.

  • There are pros and cons to using fresh or chilled semen versus frozen semen. Please explore all the options thoroughly before you start and feel free to ask us if you have any questions.
  • You must make sure that you are fully aware of your chosen stallion’s terms and conditions and make sure that you advise us of any specific requirements in writing.

Please note that Towcester Equine will not inseminate imported semen that arrives without the correct paperwork. It is important that you the owner ensure the person or centre sending the semen is aware of the necessity f!or correct paperwork.

Our Payment Terms

We will generally request payment in advance for certain services, such as vettings or large surgical procedures.? Payment is due within 14 days of the date of the invoice.
To offset the cost of late payment to us and to minimise the risk to our service levels, we will charge all clients a non deductable administration charge of £15.00 on invoices that remain unpaid after 28 days from the date of the invoice. Thereafter, non refundable interest at a rate of 5% of the total outstanding balance will be charged every 4 weeks until full payment has been received.

All hospital patients are asked to pay at collection unless other arrangements have been agreed with the Towcester Equine Partner in charge of the case. If your horse is admitted to hospital you may be asked to pay a deposit towards treatment within 24 hours of their arrival. If an outstanding balance is not paid within 60 days of any treatment and no formal arrangement to discharge the debt has been agreed, this will result in referral to our debt collection agency. Further charges may be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. We may also inform other local veterinary practices of the reasons for referral of the debt to the debt collection agency. Should this situation occur, clients who have outstanding debts with us must prepay for services or goods with a credit/debit card or cash. Clients who are persistently late in paying will also be required to pay all fees in advance or at the time of treatment and access to our veterinary services may be withdrawn.

Payment Methods – making it easy for you

Our aim is to make payment as easy as possible for you. You may settle your account using:

  • CASH.
  • CHEQUE with current banker’s card.
  • CREDIT/DEBIT CARD in person or over the phone (Switch, Solo, Mastercard, Visa & Delta – we do not accept American Express.)
  • Online or by bank transfer.

Sort Code: 30-18-83, Account: 00268882! Reference: your invoice number!

Returned Cheques and Payments

Any cheque which you issue which is returned unpaid or any credit/debit card payment which is not honoured, or any cash payment which is found to be counterfeit, will result in your account being restored to the original sum. As you would expect, additional charges may also be incurred in the process.
Inability to pay

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to pay your account, please immediately contact our P!ractice Manager to discuss the situation.

Equine Health Insurance and Liabilities

Liabilities: Towcester Equine accepts no responsibility for accidents or incidents that occur whilst stallions, mares or foals are under our care. It is the owners responsibility to provide your own insurance cover.

Payment and insurance:
Towcester Equine strongly supports the principle of insuring your horse against expected illness or accident. The role of the insurance company is to reimburse you for fees incurred for veterinary treatment. Even when insured, your veterinary charges and fees must be paid by you initially and are due for payment on presentation of the invoice. You then claim the fees from your insurance company. Under very specific circumstances Towcester Equine can arrange for Insurance Companies to make payment directly to us. This arrangement must be agreed before or at the time of treatment with a Towcester Equine Partner and with your insurance company. We cannot guarantee that your insurance company will cover the costs of your equine’s treatment and you are therefore encouraged to contact the insurance company to verify cover before any treatment has been administered. Many policies insist on this and to fail to do so will invalidate your policy. Semen Cover: Towcester Equine takes the utmost care in the handling of and the processes involving semen doses, however does not accept any responsibility or liability for the condition and or the viability of semen. We insure each stored frozen semen dose up to a value of £40. If the semen is of higher value, you the client are responsible for any additional insurance cover required.

Semen Labelling: Towcester Equine is not responsible for, and accepts no liability for, semen supplied that is incorrectly labelled, has incorrect or incomplete instructions regarding thawing or dose usage per cycle, arrives with the incorrect paperwork, fails to arrive on time or is in an unsuitable condition on arrival.

Frozen Semen: Frozen semen stored at the Clinic on behalf of stallion and mare owners is done so at their own risk and they are responsible for insurance of the semen. We reserve the right to charge for the storage of any frozen semen if it is held over from one stud season to the next.

Mares and foals – risk: whilst at Towcester Equine Veterinary Centre, mares, foals and stallions will receive every possible care, attention and supervision, but the Practice accepts no responsibility whatsoever for accident, theft or disease, nor gives any express or implied guarantee of success. All mares, foals and stallions are left at their owner’s risk and Towcester Equine is not to be liable for any damages or compensation in respect of any injury or damage however caused to any mare, foal or stallion, including (but not limited to) that caused through artificial insemination/ embryo transfer (ET). You, the owner, must accept that while your horse is at Towcester Equine it is at your risk. No responsibility for the mare and foal can be accepted by Towcester Equine and all liability claims, damages, costs, loss and expense of any kind whatsoever are expressly excluded.

Mare and Foal loss: All successful 60 day pregnancies must be paid for. With all pregnancies there is a small risk that they will not result in a live foal. There is also the possibility that the hired recipient mare may die during the rental period or be damaged to the extent that she is no longer viable as a broodmare. It is you, the client, who has responsibility to insure against the risks associated with pregnancy and mare loss post this 60 day period. For further legal details on post 60 day embryo pregnancy or recipient mare insurance, contact Piers Plunkett at Lycetts on 01672 512512 or piers.plunkett@lycetts.co.uk.

Testing Requirements

Towcester Equine has specific testing requirements for all horses arriving at the centre (including all donors, broodmares, recipients and stallions). It is important that you fully understand the requirements for your horse and abide by them at all times.

All donor mares, broodmares, stallions and client owned recipient mares must be certified free from three DEFRA legally notifiable diseases (Infectious Diseases of Horses Act 1987). They are:

  • CEM (Contagious Equine Metritis),
  • EVA (Equine Viral Arteritis),
  • EIA (Equine Infectious Anaemia)

All donor mares, broodmares, stallions and client owned recipient mares must also be certified free from Strangles. All walk-in horses MUST have repeat EVA, EIA tests and Strangles blood tests done every 90 days. All resident horses must arrive at the centre no more than 30 days after the tests are taken. All tests must be taken at least 15 days after a horse’s last natural covering. Any natural covering after tests are taken makes all test results invalid.

Recipient mares returning after weaning must have pre-entry negative results for CEM,EVA and EIA taken no more than 30 days prior to the mare’s arrival back at Towcester Equine.

Negative test results must be received by Towcester Equine BEFORE any horse arrives at the centre. We accept faxed, scanned or emailed copies of results and we do not require the original certificate.

Tests for semen or embryo export or freezing must be submitted to a DEFRA approved AHVLA lab and are much more complicated. Please contact the office for more information.

Vaccinations

All brood mares, stallions and recipient mares must be fully up to date with tetanus and EHV (Equine Herpes Virus) vaccinations and passports stamped appropriately before arriving at Towcester Equine Veterinary Centre.
It is preferred but not essential that your horses are up to date with flu vaccinations.

Recipient Mares

We work on synchronising recipient mares on a ratio of 3 recipients to 1 embryo and although we do everything we can to achieve synchrony in a client owned recipient mare, we cannot guarantee to be able to do so. We will do our best to discuss with you and let you know before the mare is needed if your recipient mare is likely to be unsuitable. We will also discuss with you the option of hiring recipients. We strongly recommend that you have a suitably synchronised hire recipient available if needed.

If at the time of flushing, your recipient mare is not suitable, we will do our best to contact you to make you aware. Hire recipients will incur standard keep costs.

Towcester Equine does not accept any liability or responsibility for failure of the procedure due to the lack of availability of suitable recipients.

All pregnant and recipient mares must reside with us until they are scanned 60 days in foal (unless otherwise agreed in writing), at which point they can leave the centre.

Livery

There are a number of livery options: stabled with or without turnout and group or individual turnout. However all mares must arrive without hind shoes and will wear a leather head collar owned by Towcester Veterinary Centre at all times when turned out.
During the early part of the breeding season (March to May), grazing and turnout may be limited due to the wet ground. It may therefore be necessary for horses to be stabled or on grazing rotation according to paddock availability.

We feed resident mares with a basic stud ration according to the owners requirement. We are able to feed any requested extra hard feed or supplements however these are not included in the livery costs and will be charged as extra. We reserve the right to increase livery charges to accommodate additional/special dietary requirements or adverse weather conditions.

Donor mares can either reside at the centre or travel for each procedure: examinations, insemination and then flushing eight days later. We recommend that donor mares do reside with us as the time of insemination is crucial and may require more than one examination to inseminate at the right time. It is possible however for your own veterinary surgeon to inseminate your mare in close association with our centre.

Worming – horses will be faecal egg counted and wormed as necessary on a regular basis and costs charged to the client.

Recipient mares provided by the client will be charged livery costs from the day they arrive.

Any mares that are uncollected with payments outstanding on the account will incur increased keep charges.

Any horses that need to stay at the centre in isolation will have isolation set up and isolation daily charges added to the normal livery charge.

Ownership of your Equine’s Records

Although we are treating your horse, all case records, x-rays, scans and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Towcester Equine. Whilst you are free at any time to see these records, and even though a charge may be made for the investigations and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record e.g. an x-ray or ultrasound scan remains the property of the practice. Upon request, copies of records with a summary of the history of your horse w!ill be passed to another Veterinary Surgeon taking over your horses care and treatment.

Mare owners should be aware before agreeing to our terms and conditions, that once signed, they authorise Towcester Equine to disclose information regarding inseminations, flushings and pregnancy diagnosis to the relevant stallion agent/ o!wner as is required by them in order to correctly invoice nominations.

Data Protection

Our guarantee to you: we will only use client details for the purpose of our business. We will not intentionally pass, without your permission, any details on to 3rd parties, unless specifically detailed above. We will aim to accurately maintain your contact preference details on our databases.

Your responsibility: you will provide us with correct and updated personal information to allow us to provide our services to you in a timely and efficient manner.

Passports

All horses (including foals) must have passports which should be available to our vets to check. We strongly recommend that passports are signed by you the owner to confirm that the equine is not for human consumption. If a passport is not a!vailable, a detailed record of your horse’s (and foal’s) medicinal products must be retained.

Disputes

Any dispute with the fees/service presented must be put in writing to the Practice Manager within 14 days of receiving the invoice. Where any dispute is not proven and as a result the payment is late, the overdue accounts procedure will become effective. Therefore clients are always advised to settle their invoice on time, and if there is a dispute this p!ayment is made without prejudice.

Termination of services

You may ask us to stop caring for your horses at any time. Alternatively, we may withdraw our services if:

  • you do not accept our advice
  • we no longer have the expertise
  • you fail to settle your account on time
  • we are prohibited by law from doing any further work on your case
  • the relationship between you and us breaks down

Under these circumstances, we will provide you with notice in writing.

Variation in Terms and Conditions of Business

No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless specifically agreed in writing by the Towcester Equine Veterinary Centre Partners. Additionally no agent or person employed by or under contract with the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these terms and conditions in anyway.