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UK breeders can continue on the same terms

During the Brexit transition period the WBFSH member studbooks from the UK have been facing potential challenges, but it has now been announced that the European Commission has accepted their application for third country listing of DEFRA-recognised breeding bodies under Article 34 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012 which means that UK breeders can continue to trade with EU breed societies or breeding operations on the same equivalent terms as before Brexit


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d. 05-01-2021 - 08:30

At the WBFSH GA-2020, held online on the 14th October 2020, chairperson of the 826-Equine Studbooks Association Mrs Celia Clarke brought to the General Assembly’s attention potential challenges that the UK studbooks may face when the BREXIT transition period ends. The 826-Equine Studbooks Association is the organisation that represents all UK studbooks that issue pedigree passports in the UK, with the number 826 referring to the UK UELN code “826”.


As of 1st January 2021, with the UK no longer being part of the EU single market, all UK studbooks will belong to a third country and therefore automatically lose their EU recognition. Mrs Clarke reported at the GA last year, that the applications for EU-reapproval had already been submitted to Dr Füssel of the EU commission, but their processing was on hold until after the end of the Brexit transition period. She warned that reapproval may take some months, with the implication that UK horses imported into the EU after 1st January 2021 would not be regarded as pedigree animals. Germinal products such as semen, embryos and zygotes would be affected in the same way until such time as the UK studbooks regain their EU-recognition. Celia Clarke made a plea to the EU studbooks to bear with the UK studbooks over the coming months.


Therefore it was very good news when on the 15th December 2020, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) was already able to announce that the European Commission had accepted their application for third country listing of DEFRA-recognised breeding bodies under Article 34 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012. Third country listing means that from the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021, UK breeders can continue to trade with EU breed societies or breeding operations, on the same equivalent terms as before Brexit. As a result these horses also continue to have High Health status, which is important for travel regulations across borders, as well as the correct and necessary zootechnic documentation.


The list of breeding bodies has been published on the Commission’s website and can be found here.