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Clear Gaps In Border Controls Threaten EU Equine Industry

The Annual General Meeting of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeder's Association (EFTBA) will be reminded that Border Inspection Posts are the first line of defence against the importation of animal diseases - including equine diseases which could be severely detrimental to the sector.

The point will be raised as part of a joint presentation by EFTBA Chairman Ms Eimear Mulhern; and Mr Cathal Lynch from the Irish Business Bureau.

"Whilst the EU have provided considerable support in terms of thorough inspections and a report on these facilities, the EFTBA is extremely concerned that the standard of veterinary checks on live animals obviously varies considerably from country to country; and, in some cases, is practically non-existent," says Ms Mulhern. "We only have to look at the recent Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak to appreciate the potential consequences of this."

Ms Mulhern will call on Thoroughbred Breeding Associations throughout its 22 member countries to maintain pressure on their own national Governments who are responsible for operating Border Inspection Posts.

"Not only is it important to continuously highlight the possible disease and economic dangers posed to the entire EU Equine industry, it is also critical to call on national Governments to do something about it and to improve the standards of border inspections where necessary," says Ms Mulhern.

It is estimated that over 153,000 thoroughbred horses are represented by the EFTBA and that there are 144,000 full time equivalent people employed by EFTBA members. Founded in October 1993, the EFTBA membership spans 22 countries, 13 of which are members of the EU.

The 9th Annual General Meeting of the EFTBA will be held in Paris this Sunday (12th May, 2002)


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