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Gimme A Nother, being admired here by Mary Slack, is one of the horses earmarked for an overseas campaign (JC Photos)

SAEHP Press Release

6 June 2024

Exports to the EU – update

On 25 March 2024, South African Equine Health and Protocols (SAEHP) announced, in conjunction with the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), that DALRRD has received official notification that the reinstatement of direct exports of registered horses from South Africa to the European Union (EU) has been approved.

This notification followed an amendment to Annex IV of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404, placing South Africa’s African Horse Sickness (AHS) Free Zone back on the Annex IV list as a zone within South Africa from which registered horses are authorised for direct entry into the EU.

The SAEHP announcement of 25 March also noted the this EU amendment will come into effect after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, which was subsequently published on 30 April 2024 when the  European Commission published Regulation EU 2024/1170, updating Annex IV of EU 2021/404. This regulation permits direct export of horses from South Africa to the EU, effective from 20 May 2024, with specific newly included conditions incorporated by the EU, summarised below:

  1. Zone ZA-1 (South Africa’s AHS Free Zone) and the current AHS Surveillance and Protection Zones in the Western Cape must be maintained. These combined zones are the AHS controlled area and controls must include movement control into and within this area, as well as surveillance with notification and control of AHS infection should it occur; and
  2. No AHS vaccination is allowed in Zone ZA-1 (the Free Zone) and the surrounding Surveillance Zone.

The EU requirement of no vaccination in the Free Zone and the Surveillance Zone means no AHS vaccinations in these two zones for trade to commence. SAEHP is working with the South African Veterinary authorities to implement a road map to facilitate the movement of equines resident in the Free and Surveillance zones. SAEHP will contact stakeholders in the near future to discuss the effects of this EU requirement and to arrange a joint working session to work on the above road map.

In the meantime, those persons wishing to export equines should contact Cape Racing, the operator of the Free Zone quarantine centre at Kenilworth race course, to schedule their entry into quarantine. In addition to the requisite testing, horses will require 40 days residence in the Free Zone and at least 14 days in the Kenilworth quarantine centre in order to qualify for export.