EXPORT OF HORSES AND PONIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
Guidance Notes for Exporters
Whilst these notes are intended to give guidance to exporters on the requirements of the law, they should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law or a substitute for it.
1. In Great Britain the export of horses and ponies is regulated by the provisions of the following legislation:
- The Animal Health Act 1981 (Sections 40-49)
- The Export of Horses (Veterinary Examination) Order 1966 (SI 1966 No.507)
- The Export of Horses (Excepted Cases) Order 1969 (SI 1969 No.1742)
- The Export of Horses (Protection) Order 1969 (SI 1969 No.1784)
- Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997
The main effect of the above legislation is to require the veterinary inspection or examination and resting of certain horses and ponies prior to export unless an exemption has been granted by the Scottish Ministers.
2. It is unlawful for the master of any vessel or the pilot of any aircraft to allow the shipment of any horse or pony unless the appropriate documents are delivered to him or his representative at the time of shipment. These documents must be produced on demand to any police officer, officer of the Scottish Ministers, local authority or HM Customs and Excise.
3. The legislation does not apply to:
(a) horses and ponies sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man;
(b) horses exported to the Republic of Ireland or directly to countries outside of Europe;
(c) thoroughbred horses certified in writing by a steward or the Secretary of the Jockey Club:
- to have arrived in Great Britain not more than one month before the date of shipment for the purpose of being run in a race;
- to be shipped for the purpose of being run in a race, training; or
- to be shipped in order to be used for breeding purposes.
Horses over 147 cm (14.2 hands) including any accompanying foals exported for exhibition, jumping, polo, racing or thoroughbred horses intended for breeding
4. You should apply for an export licence to the appropriate Agriculture Department (the addresses are given in paragraph 14) on form EXH 1 not less than 7 days before the intended date of shipment. The licence will indicate that:
(a) exemption from rest and inspection is granted;
(b) exemption from rest is granted but inspection will be required.
You will be required to notify the Department of the date and time of arrival of the horse at the port/airport and the place at which the horse may be inspected. Inspections will only be carried out at places with such facilities and assistance as may be required by the veterinary inspector;
(c) rest and inspection will be required.
You will be required to make arrangements for the horse to be detained at officially approved premises (see paragraph 10). You must give sufficient warning of the arrival of the horse at the approved premises to enable the person in charge of the premises to give the statutory minimum 48 hours notice of the arrival of the horse(s) to the Department and the local authority.
Horses over 147 cm (14.2 hands) exported for work purposes
5. You should apply for a veterinary examination of each horse on form EXH 3. In addition, the horse must meet additional requirements of minimum value and maximum age and will have to undergo rest at an officially approved premises (see paragraph 10) prior to export. Further details are available from the Department.
Ponies (including horses) of 147 cm (14.2 hands) or less
6. You should apply to the appropriate Department on form EXH 2 not less than 7 days before the intended date of shipment. The application should be accompanied by either:
- a certificate of minimum value (EXH 4)
- a declaration (EXH 5) from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) or the Show jumping Association of Ireland stating that the pony is being exported to take part in, or after having taken part in, an official international competition.
7. The certificate of minimum value ( valid for one month only from date of issue) must be obtained from one of the valuers on the list held by the Department/Ministry and the Department must be satisfied that the pony is intended for breeding, riding or exhibition and that it is not of less value than:
- £300 - Ponies over 122 cm (12 hands) and up to 147 cm (14.2 hands)
- £220 - Ponies up to 122 cm (12 hands) (other than ponies of the Shetland breed up to 107 cm (10.2 hands))
- £145 - Ponies of the Shetland breed up to 107 cm (10.2 hands)
Alternatively a minimum value certificate may be obtained from one of the judges on the list held by the Department/Ministry if the pony is registered in the StudBook of one of the following Native Breed Societies:
You will be responsible for the payment of fees and other expenses connected with minimum value certification. You must also meet the requirements of Section 42 of the Animal Health Act 1981 in respect of registered ponies.
8. Each pony must be identifiable by means of a tamper proof numbered tag. This tag must be properly attached to the pony's mane, or, if the mane has been clipped, to the tail, before the minimum value certificate is issued, The tag may be attached by the valuer or judge who must also enter the tag number on the minimum value certificate. It is your responsibility to ensure that this is done and also to provide appropriate facilities for and assistance to the valuer or judge.
Competition ponies are not tagged but must be identifiable by means of a passport issued by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), or the Show jumping Association of Ireland. The Rules of both these bodies require the passport to be in the possession of the person in charge of the pony during transit and it must also be produced to the veterinary inspector at the time of export. Untagged ponies or competition ponies without passports may not be exported.
9. The licence issued will indicate that either:
(a) exemption from rest is granted but inspection is required. You must notify the Department of:
- the date and time of arrival of the pony at the port/airport; and
- the place at which the pony may be inspected. Inspections will only be carried out at places with such facilities and assistance as may be required by the veterinary inspector:
(b) rest and inspection is required. You will be required to make arrangements for the ponies to be detained at officially approved premises (see paragraph 10). You must give sufficient warning of the arrival of the pony to enable the person in charge of the premises to give the statutory minimum 48 hours notice of the pony's arrival to the Department and local authority.
10. Horses and ponies required to be rested before shipment must be detained at officially approved premises at or near the port/airport of embarkation. A list of such premises may be obtained from the Department. You should approach the person in charge of the premises to arrange their use and you are responsible for meeting the costs involved.
Fitness to travel
11. No horse or pony will be certified as being fit to travel if, in the opinion of the veterinary inspector, it is not capable of being conveyed to its destination and disembarked without unnecessary suffering. Furthermore, pregnant horses or ponies must not be transported within Great Britain or exported if it is likely they will foal during transport.
12. You must also comply with the Animal Health requirements of the importing country and any other country of transit. Details of these requirements may be obtained from the Divisional Veterinary Manager covering the premises of origin.
Customs and Excise Requirements
13. H M Customs and Excise require the entry for ponies and horses which are subject to welfare requirements to be lodged at the port/airport of export before the export takes place.
14. Further information, application forms, lists of valuers, judges and approved premises may be obtained from the Scottish, English and Welsh Agriculutre Departments. Follow this link for the contact details.
Welfare of Animals in Transit
Height Conversion Table
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