Deal paves way for direct Irish horse exports to China


A deal has been reached over the health certification required to export horses directly from Ireland to China.

Ireland’s agriculture minister, Simon Coveney, welcomed the agreement of the Chinese authorities to the terms of a veterinary certificate that will enable the direct exports to China, with pre-export preparation and quarantine taking place in Ireland.

Before the agreement, horses were exported via the Netherlands, which was costly and burdensome for Irish breeders.

Coveney said that a protocol, signed on June 15 last year in Dublin between himself and Vice-Minister Wei Chuanzhong of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in China, had paved the way for the agreement, subject to certain agreed animal health guarantees and a pre-export quarantine period in an approved Irish facility.

Coveney said that the next step in the process was agreement between both sides on a certificate to reflect the conditions outlined in the protocol. This certificate had now been agreed.

The conditions were specific and set out the detail of what was required, including an import licence issued by the Chinese authorities – a prerequisite for each consignment. The possibility of a pre-export inspection by the Chinese veterinary authorities is also provided for.

Coveney described the deal as good news for Ireland’s equine industry. He advised potential exporters to contact the department to ensure they had full clarity around the protocol and the various elements required for compliance.

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