Fears over horse movement after Brexit quashed

UK horses will be able to move to and from the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 12 April, as our listed status has been approved.

Concerns had been raised that no animals would be able to travel to mainland Europe if the UK were to leave without a deal. But member states have now agreed our listed status, as health and biosecurity assurances required for third countries to export animals and animal products have been met.

“This is good news for UK businesses,” said food and animal welfare minister David Rutley.

“It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health which we will continue to maintain after we leave the EU.

“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products or imports high-risk food then I urge you to visit our guidance pages for what you need to do to be ready to continue to trade post-Brexit.

 “Our top priority remains delivering a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.”

The EU standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed confirmed the UK’s application yesterday (9 April). National listed status is the EU’s classification for non-member states and the UK’s application, submitted in November 2018, has passed the criteria on biosecurity measures for animal health and food hygiene.

Horses leaving the UK for the EU, including those travelling abroad to compete, will have to go through an EU border inspection post, and will need export health certificates (EHC). Government guidance is to send an EHC with the horses, and to send a copy of the EHC to the EU importer.

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Exporters will need to follow EU rules for exports from third countries to the EU.

If a deal is agreed, the UK will not need to be listed during the implementation period of the deal, so the current rules will remain in place until the end of 2020.

This decision applies only to a no-deal Brexit on April 12 2019. There would need to be another vote if the UK was to leave in a no deal scenario on a different date.

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