In our sector – particularly between the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the Thoroughbred Breeders` Association (TBA) and Weatherbys – there is a comprehensive focus on our goal of preserving and improving the international reputation and competitiveness of British racing and breeding following Brexit. This is good news for the equestrian industry in Ireland and the UK! This brings to an end the tripartite agreement that allowed horses to move freely between the three main countries of the race, Ireland, France and Great Britain. We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the European total blood sector, both directly with Horse Racing Ireland and France Galop, as well as with the European Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF), the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders` Associations (EFTBA) and the European and African Stud Book Committee (EASBC) to coordinate an approach and cooperate with the European Commission and relevant national governments. The proposals address the balance of the health of horses between the EU and the UK, digital passports designed to facilitate the smooth international transport of horses with high health status and zero fares for international transport. The document deals with thoroughbred and sport horses. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said that every year 22,000 horses will enter and leave the UK, with the total volume of trade estimated at $300 million (Robin Mounsey, an official spokesman for the BHA, quoted by Business Insider UK, uk.businessinsider.com/bha-horseracing-expert-brexit-eu-impact-300m-thoroughbred-trade-2017-3. A successful pilot event was held at Warwick on Monday with 450 spectators on the track, but British racing authorities said the area was facing a “serious threat” as the return of spectators was suspended for the foreseeable future. At the heart of this movement is the Tripartite Agreement (TPA), in force since the 1960s and which precedes the UK`s accession to the EU, which facilitates the movement between the UK, France and Ireland of horses with high health status – including “thoroughbreds for racing, breeding, training or selling”. One of the conditions of the DWA is a transitional period of 21 months, which will end on 31 December 2020, with the possibility of further extension. At present, the impact of the DWA on the TPA is not clear; However, it is thought that better documentation and registration may be needed (BHA, “The UK is leaving the EU: Racing Industry Guidance,” www.britishhorseracing.com/regulation/brexit/). According to the briefing note of the steering group, the annual economic impact of the European blood horse industry amounts to 12 billion euros and employs 155,000 people directly in different functions (ibid.).
Some 22,000 foals are bred each year in the EU, representing a turnover of 760 million euros, many of which are sold outside the EU (ibid.). With a dual approach, the task force is trying to capture its proposals both in the text of the trade agreement and in the European Animal Health Act, which will come into force on 21 April next year. A “finished” digital passport system guaranteeing the movement of horses in Europe will be put in place if the European Union and the UK government can agree on a Brexit deal.