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Press Release March 2008

Posted: 12/3/2008, 09:29

The 2004 outbreak of African horse sickness (AHS) in South Africa’s Export Zone in the Western Cape led to an embargo on the import of horses by the European Union (EU). Apart from an estimated R250 million loss of revenue for South Africa, the impact on employment and foreign market share was also significant.


There are currently 34 horses in South Africa’s export facility, Kenilworth Quarantine Station. Once the horses have completed their 40 day pre-export quarantine on Tuesday 15 April, they will be transported by air to the EU. Included in this shipment are South Africa’s elite competition horses representing disciplines such as polo, endurance, various Olympic events and to a lesser extent, horseracing.


Given the extent of the current AHS outbreak in the east and north of the country, all horse owners, transporters and associations/clubs are urged to exercise great caution when deciding to move horses from outbreak areas to those free of infection.


Transportation of infected horses remains one of the main sources of new outbreaks that can lead to the death of susceptible horses and negatively impact South Africa’s export status.


Consequently, the State Veterinary Services have imposed an embargo on the movement of horses into South Africa’s Export Zone from many parts of the country, but especially from the following Provinces:

Gauteng Province

Eastern Province

KwaZulu Natal


For more information on movement controls into the Western Cape, please contact:

Dr Gary Buhrmann

Chief State Veterinarian, Boland

021 808 5026

Or, alternatively contact the local State Veterinary office in your area.


For general information regarding AHS or to report recent cases, consult your local Veterinarian and/or the AHS Trust via their website: or contact Douglas Welsh on: 082 965 4082


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