25 Apr 2021

Update on the Implementation of the EU Animal Health Law

The BEF received confirmation on Friday from DEFRA on the detailed implementation of the new EU Animal Health Law, which is due to come into force on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.This new EU law affects thoroughbred movements to and from the EU.

As previously advised, it is now confirmed that the current Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for movements of equines from GB to the EU and Northern Ireland (and the current rules underpinning them), will be valid until Friday, 20 August 2021.  Please continue to use the existing certificates, including testing for EVA and EIA as part of the export process.

From Saturday, 21 August 2021, the new EHCs that implement the Animal Health Law will need to be used.  There was previously some concern based on a strict interpretation of the legislation that the movements of horses for sales and breeding purposes may be subject to new isolation and residency requirements as part of the implementation. Following extensive engagement with the UK government and European Commission this has now been resolved.

All horses holding valid FEI Recognition Cards, or registered with a GB Studbook will be defined as registered horses in terms of the implementation of the new law, and for registered horses it has been clarified that;

  • GB registered horses do not need to remain in the EU/NI for any specific length of time before returning to GB.
  • GB registered horses will need to be under veterinary supervision for 30 days, and do not need to isolate pre-export
  • The pre-export residency period for registered GB horses in country of origin is 40 days or since birth (time spent in the EU, Norway or another country in Category A can also count towards this).

The BEF is anticipating official communication from the European Commission alongside more general advice on the Animal Health Law.  The BEF is working with the British Horse Council to continue to engage with the UK government on the full range of challenges, solutions and opportunities as relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

We will provide further information as and when this becomes available.