NZ looks to allow frozen horse embryo imports

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foal-stockNew Zealand may become one of the first countries in the world to allow the importation of frozen horse embryos under a new plan by the country’s Ministry for Primary Industries.

The MPI has opened up a new import health standard (IHS) for consultation in order to align import requirements with international standards. MPI says this would make New Zealand one of the first countries to allow the importation of frozen equine embryos.

The ministry is aiming to move away from country-specific import health standards (IHSs) toward more generic standards. It is planned that four of the existing standards – for importing horse semen from Australia, Canada, and the USA, and equine semen from the European Union – will be rolled into one standard for semen and embryos from horses.

A draft document for public consultation and comment has been released, with submissions closing on August 21.

The standard includes horses and donkeys, but excludes zebras and other zoo equidae including Przewalski’s horse.

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