Brexit; guidance on movement of equines

The Government has issued guidance for owners of horses, ponies and other equines on the preparations they need to made in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit after March 29.

The government is continuing to negotiate with the European Commission on securing listed status for the UK, which would enable the continued movement of equines to EU member states.

If the UK is not provided with listed status by the European Commission, no movements of equines from the UK to the EU will be possible after we leave the EU until listed status is secured.

But the Government is continuing with its ‘no deal’ preparations to ensure the country is prepared for every eventuality. The guidance is designed to give the owners of horses and other equine animals as much time to prepare for these new processes and factor in any extra travel time they may require when travelling to and from the EU. It also applies to owners who currently move their animals between the UK, Ireland and France under the Tripartite Agreement (TPA).

Nick Fellows, Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), said: “The BEF has worked closely with government and leading figures in equestrian sport to make sure that all horse owners have as much information as possible for when the UK leaves the European Union. It’s important to prepare for all eventualities and we’d urge all horse owners to take notice of the material provided by Defra.”

What happens if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal?

Equines travelling from the UK to the EU may need to undergo additional blood tests, which will need to be carried out within 30 days or less of travelling to satisfy EU regulations. This depends on if the EU lists the UK as a third country for the export of equines as well as the sanitary group (health status category) the EU gives the UK. If the UK is listed, to export equines you’ll need to adhere to the following.

Get equines tested for certain diseases

If the UK is in health status category A or B, you’ll need tests for:
Equine infectious anaemia within 30 days before travel for permanent exports.
Equine infectious anaemia within 90 days before travel for temporary exports of under 90 days for equines registered on a recognised studbook, pedigree register or with an international body for sporting and competition purposes.
equine viral arteritis within 21 days of travel for uncastrated male equines older than 180 days, unless they meet vaccination requirements.

If the UK is put in category B, you’ll also need blood tests for:
Glanders within 30 days before travel
Dourine within 30 days before travel if the equine is an uncastrated male or a female and they are older than 270 days

If the UK is put in any other category, it’s unlikely that other blood tests will be needed.

Meet isolation and residency requirements.

If the UK is in health status category A or B you’ll need to keep horses and other equines in certain conditions before export. Before you export a registered horse for fewer than 90 days you’ll need to keep the animal for 40 days in one of the following:
-a holding in the UK
-an EU country
-a country with a similar health status

Before you export a horse or other equine you’ll need to keep the animal on a holding in the UK under veterinary supervision, or a country with a similar health status:
-for 90 days
-since birth if the animal is less than 90 days old
-since entry to the UK if the animal was imported directly from the EU fewer than 90 days before you export

You’ll need to keep the animal separate from other equines that don’t have equivalent health status for at least 30 days before export.

If the UK is in category B, a vet must supervise this isolation. Contact your vet for advice on how to meet this requirement. Your supervising vet does not need to be an official vet. However, an official vet must confirm that you’ve met these requirements before you export the equine.

If the EU puts the UK in a different category, you’ll have to meet other residency and isolation requirements.

Apply for an export health certificate (EHC)

You need to complete an EHC and some supporting documents to export a live animal. The EHC will replace the Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) for exports to countries in the EU.

To apply for an EHC you’ll need to:

Find the EHC and other forms you need on the export health certificate form finder. If you’re exporting from Northern Ireland, contact your local DAERA office. Most EHCs have guidance documents telling you how to fill out the certificate.

Nominate an official vet to inspect your horse or other equine.

Fill in the EHC and supporting forms and email them to the APHA address on the forms.

APHA will send your EHC to your official vet within 7 working days, or within one working day if you plan to export in the next 7 working days. They will provide copies in the languages of the destination country and the country where the horse or other equine first enters the EU.

Arrange for the official vet to check the horse or other equine meets the health requirements of the destination country within

48 hours of travel. The official vet will complete and sign the EHC and send a copy to APHA.

The official vet must give you the EHC on the same day that you load the animals for travel.

Keep the completed EHC and other documents with the animal during travel.

There’s no fee for the certificate, but you’ll need to pay for your vet’s services.

Check you have the right equine ID

You’ll be able to use the horse passport (industry-issued equine ID) to export equines registered with one of the following:
-an EU recognised studbook
-a pedigree register
-a national branch of an international racing or competition organisation

To export all other equines, apply for a government-issued equine ID from the:
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) if you’re in Great Britain.
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) if you’re in Northern Ireland

APHA will tell you when they have sent your equine ID form to your official vet. Your official vet will give you the equine ID with the EHC when they check the animal before travel. You’ll need to keep the equine ID together with the horse passport and the EHC with the animal during travel.
The equine ID will be valid for a single journey to the EU and return to the UK.

You’ll need to apply for a government-issued equine ID every time you move an unregistered horse to the EU.

check if you need an export welfare declaration

What do I do if I am planning to move a horse or other equine to the EU after 30 March 2019?

Owners planning on travelling to the EU will need to consult with a vet at least six weeks before they are planning to travel.

Contact your official vet to book an appointment so you can get blood tests taken in time.

Contact an agent or transporter and tell them when you plan to travel – you may need more time to plan travel through an EU border inspection post (BIP).

What are the EU border rules?

You’ll need to complete a customs declaration form. The person responsible for the equine move must tell the EU border inspection post that you intend to arrive, at least 24 hours before your arrival.

Which Border Inspection Posts will accept Equines?

The EU lists all BIPs and the products they are approved to handle on its website. Horse owners should check regularly for any new or updated information.

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