This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
Health rules for movement and trade of horses
Health rules for movement and trade of horses
WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?
It defines the animal health conditions which have to be met in the import of horses (including all animals in the equidae* family), or their movement within the EU.
Horses eligible to be registered in a studbook*, and intended for trade within the EU:
must show no sign of disease in the 48 hours prior to movement;
have not been in contact with horses with an infectious or contagious disease during the 15 days prior to the inspection;
must not be slaughtered under a programme to eradicate contagious or infectious disease;
must be identified by a document as laid down in Directive 90/427/EEC;
must not come from a stable subject to a prohibition order relating to infectious or contagious disease.
EU countries affected by African horse sickness must not send horses from infected areas unless they are:
moved at specific times of the year, related to the activity cycle of the insects carrying the disease;
tested for the disease with negative results;
kept in quarantine for at least 40 days, and
protected from disease-bearing insects during the period of quarantine.
Horses must travel directly, accompanied by a health certificate, in vehicles appropriately equipped for their health and well-being. Veterinary experts from the European Commission may carry out on-the-spot inspections.
Importation from outside the EU
Any non-EU country wishing to export horses must be authorised by the EU, based on their animal health record and guarantees provided on the health and well-being of the animals.
The non-EU country or region must be:
free of African horse sickness,
free of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis for at least 2 years;
free of the infectious diseases dourine and glanders for 6 months.
Additional guarantees may be required for diseases not found in the EU.
Horses must have remained for a set period in the non-EU country, and must be accompanied by identification and a health certificate. Additional inspections are made by veterinary experts from EU countries and the Commission.
Exemptions to some of these rules may be granted to horses used for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes, or for temporary pasturing or work near internal borders of the EU.
Regulation (EU) 2015/262 strengthens the identification rules with the introduction of a horse passport scheme.
WHEN DOES THIS DIRECTIVE APPLY?
From 12 August 2010.
*Equidae: members of the horse family, including horses, donkeys and zebras, and cross-bred animals.
*Studbook: a book, or other form of record, listing eligible registered horses, with a mention of their known ascendants.
For more information, see:
Council Directive 2009/156/EC of 30 November 2009 on animal health conditions governing the movement and importations from third countries of equidae (OJ L 192, 23.7.2010, pp. 1–24)
The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2009/156/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is for reference only.
Commission Decision 92/260/EEC of 10 April 1992 on animal health conditions and veterinary certification for temporary admission of registered horses (OJ L 130, 15.5.1992, pp. 67–83). See consolidated version.
Commission Decision 93/195/EEC of 2 February 1993 on animal health conditions and veterinary certification for the re-entry of registered horses for racing, competition and cultural events after temporary export (OJ L 86, 6.4.1993, pp. 1–6). See consolidated version.
Commission Decision 93/196/EEC of 5 February 1993 on animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of equidae for slaughter (OJ L 86, 6.4.1993, pp. 7–15). See consolidated version.
Commission Decision 93/197/EEC of 5 February 1993 on animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of registered equidae and equidae for breeding and production (OJ L 86, 6.4.1993, pp. 16–33). See consolidated version.
Commission Decision 2004/211/EC of 6 January 2004 establishing the list of third countries and parts of territory thereof from which Member States authorise imports of live equidae and semen, ova and embryos of the equine species, and amending Decisions 93/195/EEC and 94/63/EC (OJ L 73, 11.3.2004, pp. 1–10). See consolidated version.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 of 17 February 2015 laying down rules pursuant to Council Directives 90/427/EEC and 2009/156/EC as regards the methods for the identification of equidae (Equine Passport Regulation) (OJ L 59, 3.3.2015, pp. 1–51)
last update 24.11.2015