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LIZ SALMON 17/08/2001

The regulations of importing and exporting horses and semen may seem very complicated at first glance, so I will try and clarify the present situation, particularly as far as registration goes. It must be remembered that regulations can change, so it is always prudent to check the current rules before making a purchase and arranging for shipping.

First of all, lets look at shipping a horse from the USA to Europe, which has been fairly popular of late. Like many people you may have requested videos from web sites or advertisements in magazines. The Americans can produce very glamorous ethereal videos with upbeat music. While this usually looks great, always ask for relaxed standing shots along with close ups of the legs and head from all angles so you can assess its conformation. Remember too that the horse maybe gingered, so ask for a ginger free video. Another point is to ask for the video to be sent in the PAL format unless your VCR can play the U.S. NTSC format.

There are many small, honest breeders in the US who have excellent horses, and whose prices will often be cheaper than the big farms. The latter nearly always have a trainer, who will require a commission as much as 20% from the seller. Buying through a trainer will also carry a commission which raises the price, unless it is his own horse.

Having selected a possible horse, your next step, will be to go and see the horse, or have someone you can trust to do an evaluation for you which might save you an unnecessary airfare.

You must find out if the sire and dam are REGISTERED with PAHR‹the official WAHO approved registry in the States. Contact number is Linda Bye at Fax No. 303-582-3371. Most well known stallions are now registered with PAHR, but a few owners are resisting from principle. So it is best to find out before making a commitment. Many mares are not registered, so before you can export a horse born in or after 1998, both parents have to be registered as well as the foal.

The cost of doing this for each horse includes a $10 fee to get the official blood type from the Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA) and the actual cost of registering the foal and obtaining the export papers from PAHR of $120.

One filly I exported recently was not registered with PAHR though her sire was, and we had to get the dam registered as well. Fortunately the owner was very co-operative, and we paid the $120 fee to get it done quickly. You ABSOLUTELY DO NOT need to get an $30 export certificate from AHRA.

So you have bought your horse, having passed a thorough vet exam and not forgetting to ask about the parents being SCID free, and the registration papers are in hand or in progress. Now we have to look at shipping. There is a way round the 30 day quarantine before shipping, which is the usual way to go, and can cost about $1000 or more. Your shipper can help you avoid this step in shipping. Quarantine is where a great many horses lose condition, if the quarantine centre is not a good one. The horse arrives not looking like the one you bought.

I recommend phoning Kevin Roesch at 805-480-1131. He is an expert at importing and exporting and has an agent in England‹John Parker as well as one in Holland, which is called Horse Services International. He did a superb job for me recently, and the horses arrived in wonderful condition. They should arrive with a halter and rope, and, if it is winter, then you must make sure that they have a rug.

The horses are shipped in containers of three, so if you have just bought one horse, the shipper can help in finding two others to go with it. The shared cost per horse is then between $5-6000 (£4300 at the present rate of exchange of about $1.40 to the Pound). The horses are tested for Equine Infectious Anaemia (Coggins) and a general health certificate, all of which the shipper deals with. Stallions and colts have to have additional testing. Most of the horses go via Amsterdam and then boxed to the UK or wherever their destination.

Shipping frozen semen from the States has many rules and regulations, but again the stallion must be registered with PAHR and he will have been in quarantine prior to semen being collected. He is also blood tested for CEM (Contagious Equine Metritis) and must have a negative Coggins result. The semen from a stallion who freezes well, and not all do, will only be as good as the veterinary expertise at the receiving end. So make sure your vet knows what he is doing. Any mare shipped in foal to a US stallion, the stallion of course will need to be PAHR registered as well as a covering certificate. I would recommend being SCID free too.

Shipping from Europe to the USA for horses under two years of age requires only a U.K. health certificate and three days quarantine on arrival so they can be blood tested for EIA, Piroplasmosis, Dourine and Glanders . Those over two years must have a U.K. health certificate and be be tested for CEM, in addition to EIA, Piroplasmosis, Dourine and Glanders on arrival. Mares have to have one negative CEM negative culture before they leave, and again during their two week quarantine in the US. Stallions have to go through much more, with not only the same blood testing and negative culture before they leave, they are also required to have four weeks quarantine when they arrive. During this time they have to live cover a mare and go through more tests for CEM. Again when released from quarantine, the stallion may not look like the one you bought !!

For registration, the papers will go to PAHR as the WAHO registries will not deal with AHRA. Once registered with PAHR, they then can be registered with AHRA to be able to show in the U.S., and have their foals registered.

The cost is about the same as shipping them from the USA, it depends a bit on the current exchange rate. With the current Foot and Mouth problems, there are some additional regulations, such as a statement that the horses have been on their present premises for 60 days. The horses and all equipment is disinfected before they leave and when they arrive. The three ports of embarkation are New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

Any further details or updates can be obtained from a reliable shipper.



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