11 March 2008
SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture (Provincial Government of the Western Cape)
Statement by Cobus Dowry Minister for Agriculture in the Western Cape
The 2004 outbreak of African horse sickness (AHS) in South Africa's Export Zone in the Western Cape led to an embargo on the import of horses by the European Union (EU). Apart from an estimated R250 million loss of revenue for South Africa, the impact on employment and foreign market share was also significant.
There are currently 34 horses in South Africa's export facility, Kenilworth Quarantine Station. Once the horses have completed their 40 day pre-export quarantine on the 15th of April, they will be transported by air to the EU. Included in the quarantine are South Africa's elite competition horses representing disciplines such as polo, endurance, Olympic events and horseracing.
Given the extent of the current AHS outbreak in the east and north of the country, all horse owners, transporters and associations/clubs are urged to exercise great caution when deciding to move horses from outbreak areas to those free of infection.
Transportation of infected horses remains one of the main sources of new outbreaks that can lead to the death of susceptible horses and negatively impact South Africa's export status.
Consequently, the State Veterinary Services have imposed an embargo on the movement of horses into South Africa's Export Zone from many parts of the country, but especially from the following Provinces:
For more information on movement controls into the Western Cape, please contact:
Dr Gary Buhrmann
Chief State Veterinarian, Boland
Or, alternatively contact the local State Veterinary office in your area.
Alie van Jaarsveld
Ministry of Agriculture: Western Cape
Email: avjaarsv @ pgwc.gov.za
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