Horse & Hound
Failure ‘not an option’ as work on post-Brexit travel continues
Warnings claim the effects of not securing the future could be devastating across the industry
ANOTHER step has been made in securing the future of the British and European equestrian industry, as a leading body warns failure could cost billions.
Plans to secure seamless international transport of horses with high health status, such as competition horses and breeding stock, between the UK and EU have been put forward to Brexit decision-makers.
The International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) task force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law, made up of six representatives of European sport horse and thoroughbred industries, compiled the dossier.
It covers digital passports (news, 24 September) and requests that a trade agreement reflects the fact high health status horses in Britain have the same status in EU member states.
HUGE FINANCIAL RISK
THE task force has warned if the industry is not protected, Europe risks an estimated €17bn (£15.4bn) reduction in economic contribution and the potential loss of 250,000 jobs, so “failure is not an option”.
“Zero tariffs are in place and the task force is requesting they be maintained, and extended to geldings. Currently only stallions and mares are eligible for tarifffree cross-border transport,” said an IHSC spokesman.
“The e-passport would have no financial implications for the EU; costs will be met by the industry.
“Using a two-pronged approach, the task force is seeking to have its proposals captured in both the trade agreement and in the EU animal health law, which comes into force on 21 April 2021.”
Should a trade agreement with Britain not be reached, the task force is asking the EU to declare an “equilibrium of health status for A-listed 3rd countries”.
“The industry is of crucial importance to the economic, social, sporting and cultural fabric of both the EU and the United Kingdom, and as representatives from all sectors of that industry, we believe that there are simple solutions that can guarantee a secure future for the European equine industry,” said IHSC and FEI president Ingmar de Vos.
“It is one of the most important animal breeding and production sectors in Europe, larger and with greater economic impact and employment than a number of other European agricultural sectors, with a net worth of over €52bn (£47bn) per annum, providing 210,000 direct and more than 500,000 indirect jobs.
“We are asking negotiators to take our proposals on board and incorporate them into the texts of the trade agreement, if there is one, and the EU to include them in the EU animal health law, which comes into effect next April.
“Without agreement, we estimate the industry in Europe could shrink by as much as a third, with a potential €17bn reduction in economic contribution, and the potential loss of 250,000 jobs. So failure is not an option!”
British Equestrian CEO Iain Graham said: “British Equestrian supports the move to digital identification of horses using electronic passports.
“Understanding where horses are kept and recording relevant movements will help with disease management and emerging technologies delivered via smartphone app will be key to improving traceability.
“As we prepare athletes and teams for competition once the transition period is over, streamlined movements and border crossings for high health horses are pivotal.”