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Veterinary Certificate Agreed with the Chinese Authorities to Allow for the Direct Export of Horses from Ireland

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD, today welcomed the agreement of the Chinese authorities to the terms of a veterinary certificate that will enable the export of horses direct from Ireland to China, with pre-export preparation and quarantine taking place in Ireland. Heretofore, horses were exported via the Netherlands which was costly and burdensome for Irish breeders.

The Minister said that a Protocol, which was signed on 15 June 2012 in Dublin between himself and Vice-Minister Wei Chuanzhong of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ), had paved the way for the export of Irish horses to China subject to certain agreed animal health guarantees and a pre-export quarantine period in an Irish facility approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Minister 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 has now been agreed. The conditions are specific and set out the detail of what is required including an import licence issued by the Chinese authorities, which is a prerequisite for each consignment. The possibility of a pre-export inspection by the Chinese veterinary authorities is also provided for.

Concluding, the Minister said that this was very good news for the equine industry here and he advised potential exporters to contact the Department to ensure they have full clarity regarding the Protocol and the various elements that have to be complied with. The Minister said that he looked forward to seeing increased horse exports to this important market.

Date Released: 15 July 2013