Ireland, France Bipartite Agreement At Advanced Stage

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A bipartite agreement on the movement of horses between Ireland and France has made advances in recent days, with Britain agreeing to accept EU Documents of Movement for horses across its land bridge. Operators will not be required to separately notify the UK import system and, in order to safeguard animal welfare, Irish operators will not be required to seal vehicles for export of horses to and through Britain. Indications from the UK Government are that a stopover facility will be permitted.

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said, “We welcome the confirmation from our colleagues at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine that a Bipartite agreement between Ireland and France is at an advanced stage. In tandem with this, authorities in Britain have agreed to accept DOCOMs (EU Documents of Movement) for movement of animals across the British land bridge. This means that from Jan. 1, it looks likely that horses will be able to continue to use the DOCOM system to move to France, both directly or through the land bridge, which is very welcome and timely news.”

Kavanagh reiterated, however, that Brexit “remains a very fluid situation.”

“Advice is changing all of the time,” he said. “Whether there is a deal or not, we would strongly say to trainers and breeders that it is imperative that you start these communications now–with the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, with Revenue, with your private veterinary practitioner and with the logistics or haulage companies you expect to use to travel your horses.”

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