SA Horse Exports
Thursday 3 May 2012, marked a period of 12 months since the last case of African horse sickness (AHS) was recorded in Mamre, the small country town in the AHS Surveillance Zone which forms part of South Africa’s AHS Controlled Area in the Western Cape. The outbreak which started at the end of February 2011 led to the temporary suspension of horse exports from South Africa.
According to the prevailing guidelines of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) AHS Code Chapter, the period of suspension following an outbreak of AHS in the AHS Controlled Area is 12 months and , therefore, South Africa is now in a position to apply to its trading partners for direct imports from Kenilworth Quarantine Station in the AHS Free Zone in Cape Town.
New guidelines are being considered at this year’s OIE General Assembly at the end of May. If adopted, the changes will potentially improve the way in which countries infected with AHS are able to regain their free status following an outbreak, something lacking in the previous AHS Code.
Additionally, given that South Africa is now entering the low risk period for AHS (winter), the risk to importing countries is significantly reduced and with the imminent validation of a new diagnostic test for AHS, the RT PCR, South Africa is confident that it will be in a position to resume trading in the near future.
Racing South Africa
7 May 2012