REPORT FOLLOWING THE SEVENTH MEETING OF THE ‘HORSE IMPORT EXPORT TASK TEAM’ HELD TELEPHONICALLY ON FRIDAY 5TH FEBRUARY 2016
Following the changes in industry structures, The Horse Import Export Task Team (HIETT) was formed to replace the Import Export Working Group with the first meeting held on Monday 11th August 2014. The task team has met once a quarter since. The HIETT is made up of veterinary representatives from DAFF, Western Cape Veterinary Services, Wits Health Consortium (Equine Health Fund), SA Equine Veterinary Association (SAEVA), ERC (Equine Research Centre), SA Equestrian Federation (SAEF). Additional veterinary/non veterinary members will be co-opted when necessary. Dr Beverley Parker is the elected chairperson with Mrs N-J Freeman as secretary.
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE HIETT:
A. To exchange information on equine diseases in South Africa with emphasis on trade and international movement of horses;
B. To assess the practical problems of surveillance, control and eradication of infectious diseases of equines in South Africa;
C. To assist with scientific guidance on the development of policies relating to control of equine diseases with the potential to affect trade in equines;
D. To assist with improving the collection, use and interpretation of statistical information on equine diseases in South Africa to facilitate disease reporting.
The following is a short summary of salient points that were discussed at the eighth meeting on the 5th February 2016:
1) Stakeholders Meeting
Feedback on a meeting held between Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP), Equine Research Centre (ERC), Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI), Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), and the Equine Health Fund (EHF) on 29th October 2015, was given. At this meeting, OBP gave assurances that the AHS vaccine distribution problems would not reoccur and OBP currently have a large stock of AHS vaccine. ERC has made a large amount of AHSV sequence data available on Genbank.
2) AHS Surveillance Reports
Serology results are difficult to interpret in vaccinated populations. Concurrent RT-PCR testing is done to facilitate analysis and reporting. .
3) AHS RT-PCR Validation
The OIE Biological Standards Commission confirmed receipt of a dossier for the Guthrie RT-PCR.
4) Risk Assessment
A Risk Assessment on the export of African horse sickness from South Africa was prepared by a team lead by Dr Evan Sergeant of AusVet. The risk assessment was presented at ISVEE (International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics) in Mexico in November 2015. A summary was presented by Dr Grewar at the International Movement of Horses Committee meeting in Hong Kong in December 2015, and by Dr Sergeantat the Asian Racing Conference in India in January 2016. The paper has been submitted for publication in a Scientific Journal.
5) USA Veterinary Import Permits
The Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries are discussing updates to Veterinary Import Permit conditions with the USDA.
6) CEM Update
A meeting was held at DAFF offices on 3 December 2015 between industry (Studbook), experts (ERC and UP) and DAFF. A representative working group (Studbook, SAEVA, TBA, ERC and UP) will be formed and will meet in February 2016. The working group will address the way forward for CEM surveillance and country status.
7) Movement Control Workshops
EHF has been requested to organise movement control workshops for State and Private Veterinarians, specifically in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, with the aim of clearing up the responsibilities and processes pertaining to movement control.
8) SAEVA Disease Reporting
Dr Grewar has designed an on line disease reporting system for SAEVA, together with a manual, for use by veterinarians to report equine disease occurrence in the field. SAEVA will discuss an incentive scheme for reporting.
9) Passport Meeting with Studbook
A passport meeting was attended at the Studbook offices in Bloemfontein in February 2016. All studbook members agreed to a standard identification drawing and description. The main objection from Studbook is the cost associated with having the ID and vaccinations completed by a veterinarian (cost, availability, distance).
10) Exports to the European Union (EU) – Formation of a Task Team
Prof Ian Sanne has been in touch with Dr Mpho Maja, Animal Health Director at DAFF, requesting direction regarding the process to re-open exports to the EU. A task team has been established, which will meet as soon as Dr Maja is available.
11) Namibian Sport Horse Quarantine
Discussions are underway in connection with movement control conditions for a big endurance ride in Bredasdorp in October 2016, which will attract about 20 Namibian horses.
12) Passport requirements for National Trials in Victoria West
There is a show scheduled for 9-13 February that involves Saddlers, Friesians and Hackneys. The correct passport ID is essential for movement.
13) Hackneys vaccinated >24 months ago in the Controlled Area wanting to attend Champs in IFZ and returning to CA
A concession can only be granted through DAFF. The application procedure will be available on request.
14) Movement of Donkeys and Mules into the CA
There is a difference between EU and SA legislation regarding the definition of equids/equines and where donkeys fit in. Donkeys may only be moved into the Controlled Area via the stop over protocol.
15) Horses in the AHS Controlled Area that are unvaccinated and need to be vaccinated to be exported to Mauritius or Namibia
These horses should be vaccinated between the 1 June – 31 October period, with official permission..
16) Sport Horse Movements to Zimbabwe and Zambia
Zimbabwe and Zambia are becoming active particularly with FEI shows. The Zimbabwe Veterinary Import Permit for horses to return to SA contains a3 month residency clause. The Zimbabwe veterinary authority would have to communicate with DAFF regarding dispensations.
17) Notice period for export quarantine
A two week lead time will be required before the start of pre-export quarantine to ensure the ERC is prepared to test samples.
18) Import permit conditions for imports from Australia
Australia has challenged the inclusion of a strangles clause on the SA Veterinary Import Permit.