20211107 horse race
For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Cairo: A major Saudi state facility caring for Arabian horses plans to introduce DNA tests to prove lineages of the animal, a local news portal has reported.

The King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Centre based near Riyadh has said that a genetic testing project for pure Arabian horses will use DNA tests to prove their lineage, register and document species, Akhbar24 added.

The project includes receiving related applications, taking samples, providing findings, uploading them as well as preserving samples and results, it said.

Saudi Arabia ranks first in production of Arabian horses among members of the World Arabian Horse Organisation (WAHO) with 5,000 registered horses since 2016. Over 50,000 Arabian horses are registered in the kingdom.

Arabian horses are highly prized as a symbol of grace, speed and stamina.

In Saudi Arabia, authorities have imposed fines of up to SR500,000 for holding auctions for Arabian horses without a licence in draft regulations aimed to preserve the animal’s fine breeds, Okaz said earlier this month.

Citing a penalty table drafted by the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the paper reported that illegal online auctions for Arabian horses are also punishable by SR100,000.

In 1961, the King Abdulaziz Arabian Horse Centre was established south west of Riyadh as a hub of original Arabian horses.

Named after Saudi Arabia’s founder, the facility stands on an area of about 1 million square metres and aims to preserve the heritage of the Arabian horses.

The centre still has a herd of pure desert bred Arabian horses that descended from the herd of Saudi Arabia’s founder.