The Government has issued the racing industry with assurances that it will help owners to navigate the new processes for moving horses from the UK to EU member states, in the event event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Significantly, the guidance will also apply to those owners who currently move their animals between the UK, Ireland and France under the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) – an agreement relied on by many in the horseracing industry and the competition sector.
Although, leaving the EU with a deal remains the top priority, the government is continuing with ‘no deal’ preparations to ensure the country is prepared for every eventuality.
Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley emphasised: “Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the Government’s top priority, but it is our job to responsibly ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.
“This guidance will help businesses and owners prepare for life after 29 March if we do leave without a deal. However, it is in the interest of the EU to reciprocate our commitment on the movement of horses. This will ensure horseracing and competition events across the continent can continue to be attended by all of Europe’s top equine talent.”
Julian Richmond Watson, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, added: “The British thoroughbred racing and breeding industry welcomes publication of this important guidance and will be communicating it to our participants to help them prepare for all potential Brexit negotiation outcomes.
“We fully support the Government’s welcome and pragmatic position to allow continued equine movement under current systems from EU member states to the UK in a no deal scenario.”
Laying out guidelines for if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, the government stated:
- 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.
- Owners will need to consult with a vet at least six weeks before they are planning to travel.
- All equines will need an Export Health Certificate in order to travel to EU states, instead of current documents, and will need to enter the EU via a Border Inspection Post (BIP).
- Some equines will also need a Government issued travel ID document, as well as their existing equine passport.
The guidance published today 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.
Nick Fellows, Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), added: “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.
“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.”