Horse movement receives green light post-Brexit

UK horses will be able to move to and from the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October thanks to the UK securing listed status – for a second time.

EU members granted the UK listed status, which recognises high biosecurity and animal health standards, in April but this did not apply for the delayed Brexit date of 31 October. In April a BEF spokesman told H&H that this was not unreasonable as if, for example the UK were to have suffered an outbreak of an infection equine disease before October, this would affected the health status of our horses and therefore would have been an important consideration for EU states.

The EU standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed confirmed the acceptance of the UK’s status on Friday (11 October) after it met the health and biosecurity assurances required for a third country.

A spokesman for Defra said the move will bring “welcome clarity” to the country’s world-leading farmers and food producers.

With listed status confirmed, if the UK leaves without a deal, each horse leaving the UK for the EU, including those travelling abroad to compete, will need an equine health certificate, and will have to enter the EU via a border inspection post. Those not registered with an EU-recognised studbook or the national branch of an international racing or competition organisation will also need a government-issued travel ID document, as well as a passport.

Environment secretary Theresa Villiers added: “This is good news for UK businesses. It demonstrates our very high standards of biosecurity and animal health, which we will continue to maintain and improve after we leave the EU.

“If you or your business import or export animal and animal products, we want to make sure you are ready for Brexit. Our guidance sets out what you need to do to continue to trade after we leave the EU.

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“Our top priority remains delivering Brexit by the end of October, and our preference is to do that with a negotiated deal, but it is the job of a responsible government to ensure we are ready to leave without a deal and without any further pointless delay,” said Ms Villiers.

The Defra spokesman added that if the UK leaves with a deal, it will not need to be listed during the implementation period of the deal.

“To give certainty to businesses and citizens, common rules will remain in place until the end of the implementation period meaning businesses will be able to trade on the same terms as now up until the end of 2020,” he said.

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