Reinstatement of Direct Exports of Registered Equines from South Africa to the European Union

Media updates
15 April 2024 Author: FEI

The International Horse Sports Confederation welcomes the South African Equine Health and Protocols’ (SAEHP) official release which recently announced the reinstatement of direct exports of registered equines from South Africa to the European Union (EU).

South Africa’s African Horse Sickness (‘AHS’) free zone is now an authorised zone within South Africa from which registered equines are authorised for direct entry into the EU following the required in-country pre-export quarantine period.

The reinstatement of direct exports of registered equines from South Africa to the EU is a very important development for both the South African thoroughbred racing industry as well as for other equine disciplines in the country, and is anticipated to give a significant boost to global equestrian sport over time.

President of the IHSC, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said:

“On behalf of the IHSC, I would like to congratulate the South African Government and SAEHP for achieving this significant development. 
he IHSC has long recognised the importance of facilitating international horse movements, and this breakthrough will prove to be a positive development for both the South African and global equine sport and breeding industry.”

Vice-President of the IHSC, Ingmar De Vos said:

“The IHSC is extremely pleased with this development and in the international equestrian community, we are excited by the restoration of a key industry player after 13 years of relative isolation.
The fact that South African sport horses of all breeds will now have direct entry to the EU and potentially to other major markets will no doubt further enhance the development of our equine disciplines in South Africa and the wider region.” 

SAEHP operates in a public/private partnership with the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the Western Cape Department of Veterinary Services, and further collaborates with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to negotiate the reimplementation of direct exports based on EU protocol principles to potential trade partner countries.

Additionally, SAEHP has been supported by private individuals, organisations and bodies in the South African racing industry. In 2021, SAEHP also entered into a funding agreement with The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA), with the purpose of supporting the operation of SAEHP and providing technical support to carry out work related to the restoration of direct export of South African horses to international markets.