EUROPE (by Celia Clarke) There must surely have been times during the past couple of years when studbooks in Europe will have fully understood the threat behind the old Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’. Not only have the had to deal with the almost constantly changing requirements of the new Equine Passport and Zootechnics Regulations as well as its links to the forthcoming, all-bracing Animal Health Law...

But on a more general level they have had to deal with the complexities of the new General Data Protection Regulations which come into force across the EU on this coming 25 May. This law makes studbooks (and ever y other organisation – and you personally as an individual, of course, if you live in or do business with any person or organisation based in an EU country) responsible for the security of all personal data that’s collected and held. It includes not just names and addresses but also registration and ownership details that can identify an individual, stud or company by name, affix etc., of an equine recorded in their database.

Additionally, it requires them to ensure that every or- ganisation with which they have data exchange procedures in place is also equally secure in its protocols. This, of course, is the regulation that will cover such bodies as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. But whatever the size of the organisation (be it a huge multinational or a small studbook) the fine for a data breach is huge and could be as much as €20 million or 25 percent of the entities global profits, whichever is the greater. And then of course the UK based studbooks have also got Brexit and the threat to the British, French and Irish Tri-partite Agreement on equine movement to deal with as well. Interesting times indeed!

However, amongst all this gloom there is a small flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. As some will know, the WBFSH and the European Horse Network have been concerned for a while that the trade in sport horses and other equines has been seriously affected by the stringent clauses relating to defective goods imposed through the EU Consumer Protection Directive of 2009..

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