Breakthrough as Direct Imports To Europe Approved

SAEHP, collaborating with the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), announces that DALRRD has been officially notified of the approval for the reinstatement of direct exports of registered equines from South Africa to the EU.

This approval follows a meeting of the EU Commission Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed – Controls and Import Conditions Section, during which EU Member States endorsed the Commission’s proposal to amend Annex IV of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404.

The amendment places South Africa’s African Horse Sickness (AHS) free zone back on the Annex IV list as an authorized zone within South Africa, allowing registered equines to be directly exported to the EU after the required in-country pre-export quarantine period.

It has been 13 years since South Africa was last able to export registered equines directly to the EU. SAEHP, established in 2018, has collaborated with the South African Government for the past six years to achieve this milestone. Despite delays, mainly due to the impact of Covid-19, the first official EU audit was successfully conducted in 2022, leading to the reinstatement of direct EU equine exports.

The road to this success has been lengthy and intricate. SAEHP extends sincere gratitude to various stakeholders including the South African Government, DALRRD, Western Cape Veterinary Services, funders, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, the National Horseracing Authority (NHA), Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Quarantine Station, Thoroughbred Breeders Association, audit participants, laboratories, trainers, stud farms, registering authorities, stop over quarantine facilities, and SAEHP board members, management, and staff.

This development is highly positive for the South African thoroughbred racing industry and other equine disciplines, promising job creation and trade benefits.

The reinstatement of direct exports to the EU may also attract investment from other export markets, stimulating interest in South African yearlings and horses in training across various equine disciplines, benefiting breeders and owners.

Dr. Mpho Maja, Director Animal Health at DALRRD, expresses satisfaction with the outcome, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in achieving such milestones.

David Abery, Chairman of SAEHP, shares the excitement, foreseeing significant boosts for the South African equine industry and emphasizing the need for continued support and development to maximize the benefits of an efficient horse export system.

The EU amendment will be effective upon publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, with further information regarding the pre-export quarantine period and exports to be provided in due course by SAEHP. 

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