Preparing to Breed

Click This special EVA testing offer for the Irish Equine Centre’s special reduced offer on all repeat EVA testing, post initial package of CEM/EVA/EIA.

It is vital that the appropriate pre-breed screening and animal health checks are made in preparation for breeding. Protecting the Irish equine industry against equine diseases is vital to preserve our high health status and to maintain our ability to safely breed, transport and participate in national and international competition. If you intend to import germinal products please see the detail below regarding your obligations as a breeder under domestic and European legislation.

 

Pre-Breeding Health Screening

It is vital that the equine industry are proactive to maintaining high health status rather than re-active. Pre breeding screenings should occur in advance of breeding and on an annual basis. Mare and Stallion owners should always request proof of health status ahead of breeding.

  • Adherence to the International Codes of Practice (v.2023).
  • Adherence to the Horse Sport Ireland voluntary code of practice provides detail on pre breeding screening, including detail on EVA, EIA, CEM, EHV etc. How to prevent and screen against these diseases, many of which are notifiable diseases.
  • Ahead of the 2024 breeding season the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has notified the equine industry of an EVA vaccine shortage.
    • If vaccinated all stallion owners should to blood sample all previously vaccinated stallions and teasers and to urgently submit these surveillance blood samples before Jan 2nd 2024, and thereafter at 6 monthly intervals, to the Virology Division, CVRL, Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Kildare W23 N9FA

 

The importation of Equine Germinal products

According to the business of breeding 2022, over 7o% of breeders in Ireland use at least one artificial reproductive technique. This is unique to the sport horse sector where international studbook rules for thoroughbred breeders only allows for natural cover. It is important that breeders remain aware that importing germinal products still carries the risk of importing equine diseases.  It is vital that these importation rules are always adhered to, to preserve the high health status of the Irish equine industry and mitigate disease outbreaks. Please see the detail below regarding the steps which must be taken during the process of  germinal product importation.

Germinal products means semen, oocytes and embryos intended for artificial reproduction.

Importing from within the EU

If importing from within the EU you must ensure:

  1. The germinal products were collected and stored, from the time of collection or production, in an EU approved Germinal Product Establishment. The EU Commission List is updated regularly.
  2. The germinal products travel with an appropriate official Health Certificate issued by the country of origin.
  3. The germinal products are accompanied by the appropriate Zootechnical Certificate where the offspring produced from these are intended to be entered or registered in a breeding book for those animals.
  4. You must register with TRACES in order to allow the exporter to complete the export certification process. If this is your first time importing Germinal Products, you will need to contact TRACES directly to have the relevant activity validated.
    traces@agriculture.gov.ie.
  5. All documentation relating to the import must be retained for a minimum of three years.
Importing from outside the EU (Third Country):

If importing equine germinal products from outside the EU (for example GB, Australia etc) you must ensure:

  1. The germinal products travel with an appropriate official Health Certificate issued by the country of origin i.e. an EU approved Third Country Health Certificate.
  2. You must register with TRACES in order to be able to submit Part I of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED). TRACES can assist with registration and ensure you have the correct validated activity on your Operator Profile ( traces@agriculture.gov.ie).
  3. In addition, you must register with the Department of Agriculture (DAFM) and submit the required paperwork to the DAFM Import Portal. For more details please see ie – Importing Animals and Animal Products from the UK (www.gov.ie)
  4. The germinal products are accompanied by the appropriate Zootechnical Certificate where the offspring produced from these are intended to be entered or registered in a breeding book for those animals.
  5. Common Health Entry Document (CHED) must be completed on TRACES-NT at least 24 hours prior to the importation and sent to the Nominated Border Control Post (BCP).
  6. The appropriate fee for imports of equine germinal products from Third Countries is paid to the DAFM.
  7. Germinal products may be imported through any of the BCPs in Ireland. For a list of BCPs and contact details please click here.
  8. You must retain all import documents and the validated CHED for a minimum of three years.

Please CLICK HERE for additional detail related to the above and for information on:

  • Approved Germinal Product Establishments
  • Health Certificates
  • Zootechnical Certificates
  • Importation from within and Outside the EU
  • The November 2023 information note from DAFM; All imported germinal products must be imported through an EU approved Germinal Product Establishment, accompanied by a health certificate and zootechnical certificate, please CLICK HERE for more details.