IHSC Taskforce

About IHSC Taskforce for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law

The IHSC Task Force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law which was created in March 2020, is the result of a unique collaboration bringing together the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation (ITBF) and the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Association (EFTBA).

The Taskforce representatives are:

  • Dr Göran Akerström, FEI Veterinary Director and Task Force Chair
  • Simon Cooper, Vice Chairman International Stud Book Committee and Director of the General Stud Book (Weatherbys)
  • Paul-Marie Gadot, Veterinary Advisor to France Galop and the IFHA
  • Des Leadon, European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders' Associations Veterinary Committee Chairman
  • Brian Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive, IFHA Vice Chairman and European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation Chairman
  • Ronan Murphy, European Equestrian Federation EU Committee member.

The Task Force works with Governments and key individuals to devise and present solutions which would facilitate movement of Sport Horses and Thoroughbreds (competition, training, sales and breeding animals) across the EU and including between the EU and the United Kingdom post Brexit and the implementation of the EU Animal Health Law.

The proposed solutions, which cover equilibrium in equine health status between the EU and Britain, digital passports to facilitate seamless international transport of guaranteed high-health status horses and zero tariffs for cross-border movement, are outlined in a comprehensive 14-page dossier.

“The equine industry is of crucial importance to the economic, social, sporting and cultural fabric of both the European Union and the United Kingdom, and as representatives from all sectors of that industry, we believe that there are simple solutions that can guarantee a secure future for the European equine industry”, IHSC President Ingmar De Vos said.

“It is one of the most important animal breeding and production sectors in Europe, larger and with greater economic impact and employment than a number of other European agricultural sectors, with a net worth of over €52 billion per annum, providing 210,000 direct and more than 500,000 indirect jobs."

“Our goal is to reach an agreement that will allow for a continuation of the historical expedited movement of horses for breeding, sale and competition between EU Member States and Britain. While there are some sectors currently under discussion that seem to remain difficult in the negotiations, we believe that there are simple solutions within the equine industry that can be readily included in a Free Trade Agreement. Indeed, they are also workable even in a no deal scenario."

“We are asking the negotiators on both sides of the table to take our proposals on board and incorporate them into the texts of the Trade Agreement, if there is one, and the EU to include them in the incoming EU Animal Health Law, which comes into effect next April."

“Without agreement on this, we estimate that the industry in Europe could shrink by as much as a third, with a potential €17 billion reduction in economic contribution, and the potential loss of 250,000 jobs in a marketplace already threatened with critical unemployment levels and a significant reduction in foreign direct investment in the European Union as the economic focus shifts to North America and Asia. So failure is not an option!”


Solutions to frictionless movement of high health horses competition,training, sales andbreeding - across the EU and between the EU and the UK

Download the full dossier