Frozen and thawed rabbit semen from the gene bank has proved to generate offspring. In this way genetic diversity in rabbit gene bank collections is relevant for the long term conservation of rare rabbit breeds.
The first gene bank collections for Dutch rare rabbit breeds were established in 2014 (CGN rapport 32). An insemination experiment was carried out to test the fertilizing capacity of the rabbit semen stored in the gene bank collections of CGN. Results of insemination of frozen semen were compared with results of freshly collected semen. The frozen semen resulted in 50% pregnancies with a mean offspring of seven per litter. The pregnancy rate for fresh semen of rare breeds varied between 60-80%, with almost the same litter size. A relation between motility rate after thawing and pregnancy rate is set (CGN rapport 36).