AUSTRALIAN horses are clear to compete in Hong Kong for FWD Champions Day after the Australian and Hong Kong governments agreed to interim measures to end the quarantine stand-off.
The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) completed an assessment of the new arrangement on Thursday, with the interim biosecurity conditions effective from Tuesday, March 12.
“The implementation of the interim arrangement will allow Australian racehorses to compete in the Champions Day races at Sha Tin in April 2019,” the Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong said in a statement.
“[DAWR] appreciates the efforts of both the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Hong Kong Jockey Club in reaching this interim arrangement.
“[DAWR] continues to progress an assessment of the equine disease free zone in Conghua, China.”
The interim measures will allow Australian runners to participate in races in Hong Kong and travel directly to Australia without being forced to spend 180 days in a third country.
The Australian Government first banned the direct importation of horses from Hong Kong in October 2017 after biosecurity concerns were raised over the Jockey Club’s Conghua training facility in mainland China.
“And so seemingly ends a 20-month impasse. A long time coming. Now if South Africa can get their delayed EU audit going and open those doors to global trade…that near decade long debacle must come to an end,” tweeted Patrick Cummings, Executive Director of Thoroughbred Idea Foundation and former Marketing Executive at HKJC.