HRI welcome clarity on post-Brexit land bridge movement


Friday, December 18, 2020
Brexit Landbridge

HRI welcome clarity on post-Brexit land bridge movement Photo: Healy Racing Photography


Horse Racing Ireland today welcomed new clarity on land bridge movements for horses through the UK from January 1 2021.

Each year a significant number of mares from mainland Europe travel to Ireland through Britain for breeding purposes, while a large number of Irish racehorses travel through Britain to Dover to gain access to mainland Europe for race meetings and sales. Discussions had been ongoing around ensuring that journey remained as seamless as possible.

Yesterday a webinar, jointly hosted by the Departments of Agriculture in Ireland (DAFM) and Britain (DEFRA), revealed that advances had been made in recent days.

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said:

“We welcome the confirmation from our colleagues at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine that a Bipartite agreement between Ireland and France is at an advanced stage.

“In tandem with this, authorities in Britain have agreed to accept DOCOMs (EU Documents of Movement) for movement of animals across the British land bridge.

“This means that from January 1, it looks likely that horses will be able to continue to use the DOCOM system to move to France – both directly or through the land bridge, which is very welcome and timely news.”

Furthermore, operators will not be required to separately notify the UK import system and, in order to safeguard animal welfare, Irish operators will not be required to seal vehicles for export of horses to and through Britain. Indications from the UK Government are that a stopover facility will be permitted.

There will, however, remain significant operational changes for the Irish racing and breeding industry and those planning to move horses to or through Britain from January 1 should be preparing for the new arrangements for the exports of horses. Those preparations should involve checking and verifying the animal health requirements for movement of horses from Ireland, and what the transport requirements will be.

Brian Kavanagh added:

“Advice is changing all of the time and Brexit remains a very fluid situation. However, whether there is a deal or not, we would strongly say to trainers and breeders that it is imperative that you start these communications now – with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, with Revenue, with your private veterinary practitioner and with the logistics or haulage companies you expect to use to travel your horses.”

Updated Brexit advice for the racing and breeding industry is available on: www.agriculture.gov.ie/Brexit and www.hri.ie/Brexit

The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine’s Brexit webinars are available to view on their website: www.gov.ie/agriculture/brexit

Advice is changing all of the time and Brexit remains a very fluid situation. However, whether there is a deal or not, we would strongly say to trainers and breeders that it is imperative that you start these communications now – with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, with Revenue, with your private veterinary practitioner and with the logistics or haulage companies you expect to use to travel your horses.

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