Embryo production by in vitro techniques has increased steadily over the years. For cattle where this technology is more advanced and is applied more, the number of in vitro produced embryos transferred to final recipients was over 30,000 in 1998. An increasing proportion of in vitro produced embryos are coming from oocytes collected from live donors by ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration (ovum pick up, OPU). This procedure allows the repeated production of embryos from live donors of particular value and is a serious alternative to superovulation. Ovum pick up is a very flexible technique. It can be performed twice a week for many weeks without side effects on the donor's reproductive career. The donor can be in almost any physiological status and still be suitable for oocyte recovery. A scanner with a sectorial or convex probe and a vacuum pump are required. Collection is performed with minimal stress to the donor. An average of 8 to 10 oocytes are collected per OPU with an average production of 2 transferable embryos. The laboratory production of embryos from such oocytes does not differ from that of oocytes harvested at slaughter as the results after transfer to final recipients. For other species such as buffalo and horses OPU has been attempted similarly to cattle and data will be presented and reviewed. For small ruminants, laparotomy or laparoscopy seems the only reliable route so far to collect oocytes from live donors.