Three-Year Plan to Improve International Travel of Top-Level Sport Horses

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The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and the World Animal Health Organisation announced Monday a three-year plan to help improve international movement of top-level sport horses as participation in equestrian competitions reaches a record high.

Proposals include basing a senior veterinarian full time at OIE headquarters in Paris to collaborate on defining a sub-population of lower disease risk, “high health, high performance” sport horses to be integrated into existing biosecurity systems aimed at preventing the spread of diseases.

The expert will also contribute to support veterinary training programs as part of the OIE’s global effort to develop national veterinary services around the world.

The FEI and OIE will also develop communications to focus on exchange by governments of economic and social contribution of equestrian sport as they modernize import and export procedures for the safe movement of sport horses while protecting their welfare.

The plan marks a milestone in the FEI’s 10-year working relationship with the OIE, and is being put into action at the start of what is expected to be the busiest event calendar in the history of equestrian sport. More than 3,000 FEI events were held around the world in 2012, an increase of 27 per cent since 2008.