CHRIS van Niekerk (photo), Adrian Todd, Lee Scribante and Mike de Kock have established the SA Equine Health & Protocols NPC as the implementation arm of the Import/Export Task Team.
The SAEHP incorporates the Western Cape Epidemiology Unit employing Drs John Grewar, Camilla Weyer and Bev Parker.
Overall, the SAEHP will be responsible for the establishment of long-term sustainable equine exports and internal movement control.
“We want to unlock the R1-billion per annum equine export industry,” SAEHP director Adrian Todd said. He highlighted the primary goals of SAEHP, listing:
-Successful negotiation of direct exports based on lockdown quarantine to non-EU countries, as proven possible in the risk assessment study conducted by AUSVET.
-Facilitating and coordinating the actions needed to address the shortcomings of the 2013 EU Audit, which found that South Africa was not able to ensure the absence of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in the controlled zone.
-Developing the newly formed private partnership relationship with the South African Government, a vital part of success in the protocols initiative.
-Coordinating and facilitating a united focus and drive towards these goals with one national strategy and voice.
The Import/Export Task Team, formed to take direct and focused action, comprises of Chairman Chris van Niekerk of CTS and Klawervlei, Lee Scribante of the TBA, Robin Bruss of Northfields Bloodstock, Peter Gibson of the SA Equine Trade Council, Mick Goss of Summerhill Stud, Prof Ian Sanne of Equine Health Fund, Jessica Slack of Mauritzfontein Stud, De Kock and Todd.
Todd said that significant political progress had been made to date. The team has unified the South African Industry and resulted in much improved relations with Government. The successful interaction has resulted in a high-level Deputy Director General being appointed to deal directly with the team on the issue of protocols.
“This level of interaction has never previously happened and is vital to the conclusion of protocols. Protocols are ultimately agreed on a Government level,” Todd stated.
SAEHP has as its main goal the resumption of trade with the EU after a successful audit in mid-2018. This will result in sustainable direct export protocols with targeted non-EU countries on the basis of lockdown quarantine.
“We also want to establish long term sustainable funding for the Western Cape Epidemiology Unit currently incorporated with the SAEHP,” Todd said.
SEAHP has devised a timeline for the achievement of its outlined goals:
Successful outcome of EU Audit of internal controls in South Africa and procedures in place for the protection of the AHS free zone.
December 2018/January 2019
Resumption of direct trade with the EU.
Conclusion of protocols with targeted non-EU countries and agreement of design of the quarantine station.
SAEHP is a non-profit company created to coordinate and ensure the success of the goal of normalised export protocols within the listed timeframes.
‘’Recent international and scientific developments have shown us that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. While we still have a long road ahead, solid progress has been made,” Todd concluded.
Photo by Brent Abrahams.