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New rules for exporting equines in event of no-deal Brexit
Owners will need to consult with a vet at least six weeks before they are planning to travel.
Equines travelling to UK from EU may need additional blood tests

The government has published new rules for exporting horses and other equines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The guidance states that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, equines travelling from the UK to the EU may need to undergo additional blood tests. These will need to be carried out within 30 days or less of travelling to satisfy EU regulations.

Owners will also need to consult with a vet at least six weeks before they are planning to travel. To be able to travel to EU states, all equines will require an Export Health Certificate and will need to enter the EU via a Border Inspection Post (BIP).

Furthermore, some equines will also require a government-issued travel ID document, in addition to their existing equine passport.

The government said that movement on all equines from EU member states will be allowed to continue ‘to support the industries that rely on these animals’. It added that it is continuing to negotiate with the European Commission on securing listed status for the UK, which would enable the continued movement of equines to EU member states.

Animal welfare minister David Rutley said: “Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the Government’s top priority, but it is our job to responsibly ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.

This guidance will help businesses and owners prepare for life after 29 March if we do leave without a deal. However, it is in the interest of the EU to reciprocate our commitment on the movement of horses. This will ensure horseracing and competition events across the continent can continue to be attended by all of Europe’s top equine talent.”

Julian Richmond Watson, chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said: “The British thoroughbred racing and breeding industry welcomes publication of this important guidance and will be communicating it to our participants to help them prepare for all potential Brexit negotiation outcomes.

“We fully support the Government’s welcome and pragmatic position to allow continued equine movement under current systems from EU member states to the UK in a no deal scenario.

Nick Fellows, chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), said: “The BEF has worked closely with government and leading figures in equestrian sport to make sure that all horse owners have as much information as possible for when the UK leaves the European Union. It’s important to prepare for all eventualities and we’d urge all horse owners to take notice of the material provided by Defra.”

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.