Embryo transfer is one step in the process of removing one or more embryos from the reproductive tract of a donor female and transferring them to one or more recipient females. Embryos also can be produced in the laboratory via techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or more sophisticated technologies such as cloning or production of transgenic embryos. These technologies are of little value without adding the embryo transfer step. Embryo transfer has been used extensively in farm animals including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs and, to a lesser extent, in buffaloes and most species of camelids. Embryo transfer also has been successful in domestic dogs and cats and in virtually all species of laboratory rodents and primates. Lastly, a limited amount of embryo transfer has been successful in numerous wild mammals. However, availability of suitable recipients for rare or endangered species has limited this application of the technology. This article will focus on embryo transfer in farm animals.
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