Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, owners and breeders of British racing studs have observed a difficult adjustment to the regulations of equine travel and export.
Horseracing owners have urged the government to collaborate with European partners to cut red tape that prevents British thoroughbreds from crossing EU borders.
According to a BBC East article, vets at the Newmarket Equine Hospital have witnessed a huge increase in demand since January, as owners requested further medical exams to guarantee that their horses were fit to go.
Raised medical expenditure
Individual horses would sometimes need an additional 26 stamps to go to a single European destination, dramatically raising medical expenditures for owners and breeders.
According to data from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British-trained runners in EU-held races fell by 67 percent between January and February 2021, compared to a 23 percent drop in the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, the number of EU-trained horses racing in the UK had dropped by 92 percent, with a 93 percent drop in Irish runners and an 89 percent drop in Northern Irish runners.
Certificates and notifications
According to the BHA, ‘Thoroughbred Export Certificates’ for permanent export have decreased by 30 percent, while ‘Breeding Clearance Notifications’ for temporary exports have decreased by 61 percent.
While COVID-19 had a continuing influence on equine travel, all racing stakeholders had been burdened by a considerable increase in paperwork and administration, according to Ross Hamilton, the BHA’s External Affairs Officer, who gave evidence before the House of Commons.
As the sport and its owners re-emerge from lockdown, the BHA emphasised the importance of UK thoroughbreds preserving their access and rights to compete in European races.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reassured UK owners prior to the UK securing its post-Brexit trade arrangements that equine travel between the UK, Ireland, and France would be maintained by the ‘Tripartite Agreement of 2014,’ with limited veterinarian checks being enforced between the UK, Ireland, and France.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would release the following statement: “To ensure movements to EU countries can continue as smoothly as possible, we have implemented a range of initiatives to increase the number of certifiers to meet demand for export health certification.
“We continue to meet regularly with key industry stakeholders, and authorities in France and Ireland, to understand difficulties associated with the movement of equines as they arise.”