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Guidelines for exporting and importing horses post Brexit


By Celia Clarke (Chair, 826 Equine Studbooks Association)

The last few months have been a very worrying period for many in our industry – as it has especially for the UK – with a unique combination of the end of the Brexit transition period, as well as the spread of Covid-19 creating problems, both practical and regulatory.

These problems were exacerbated by the very late agreement between the UK and the EU regarding the final Withdrawal Treaty framework and for those planning to export horses and ponies (even if only briefly rather than as a permanent re-location for whatever reason). This has added urgency to a major and vital review of current procedures. Now, for anyone planning send equines to the EU, there are regulations about which you should be aware. Always...
• Check the latest DEFRA guidelines on exporting and importing equines as these often change at very short notice. Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-horses-and-ponies-special-rules. This guidance contains vital up-to-date links for current EU border control posts for equines (BCPs), which are the only places in which horses and ponies exported from the UK to the EU can enter the EU.
• Try to use an internationally experienced, equine-specialist horse transporter to move horses and ponies unless you are experienced in doing this yourself and are sure that you have fulfilled all the requirements specified in the DEFRA guidance above and have all the necessary paperwork in place, plus COVID-19 compliant drivers, grooms etc.
• Rules for exporting an equine to Northern Ireland are complex and similar to those for exporting an animal to the EU rather than moving it internally within the UK... <span style="color: #008000;">To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber</span>

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