• EHV1 Outbreak
  • 22/03/2021

    Third country status of EU-based WBFSH studbooks post-Brexit

  • Nadine Brandtner
    Nadine Brandtner

    General Manager

  • In early January the WBFSH was able to inform its studbook members that the European Commission had accepted the application for third country listing of DEFRA-recognised breeding bodies under Article 34 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012. As a result, UK breeders could continue to trade with EU breed societies or breeding operations on the same equivalent terms as before Brexit.

    Following further discussions with DEFRA on Friday 19th March 2021, Mrs Clarke provided additional information and clarification on the consequences of missing the deadline of the 30th June 2021.

    The reverse still needs to be accomplished for operations of EU-based studbooks in the UK. Chairperson of the 826-Equine Studbooks Association Mrs Celia Clarke has notified the WBFSH that DEFRA has sent out a reminder letter for the application for Third Country Listing of EU Breeding Bodies in the UK. This process must be completed by 30 June 2021, in order for trade in breeding animals and germinal products between EU breeding bodies and the UK to continue.

    1) Following Ministerial decisions taken towards the end of 2020, the decision to apply 3rd country listing requirements to the EU is not confined to Zootechnics but applies across a number of policy areas. Obviously, an EU breeding body is not obliged to apply to the UK for listing, but if they do not any animals or progeny of germinal products imported into the UK cannot be entered into the main section of a UK studbook. For equines it would also result in their animals being classed as “un-registered” and putting them in a different health status category compared to registered horses that are classified as HHH (High Health status Horses). The implications of this are additional burdens on movement. DEFRA will accept applications after the 30th June 2021. But as of 1st July 2021, until the studbook is listed, the grace period on restrictions will no longer apply.
    Therefore, to reiterate, if an animal is moved to the UK after 30th June 2021, be that for a temporary move for competition or a permanent move, if the studbook is not listed then those animals will be classed as “un-registered”.

    2) Article 34(2)(c) of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012 states the following; "the breeding body has adopted rules of procedure to ensure that breeding animals entered in breeding books by breed societies or registered in breeding registers by breeding operations, and the offspring produced from germinal products of such breeding animals, are entered or eligible for entry without discrimination on account of their country of origin, in the case of purebred breeding animals, in the breeding book of the same breed, or, in the case of hybrid breeding pigs, in the breeding register of the same breed, line or cross, maintained by that breeding body."

    In layman's terms, this requires a breeding body to include a statement in its breeding book rules that it will enter into the breeding book, animals of the same breed, line or cross that are eligible for entry under the Society’s breed criteria, without discrimination on account of their country of origin. DEFRA will need a copy of the studbook or breed society rules with this statement included when they apply for 3rd country status.

    Says Mrs Clarke, "Having been through this process ourselves in the lead up to 01 January 2021, we know that some may find the paperwork quite taxing, and support may be needed.

    Even a temporary disruption in trade at that stage in the breeding season, as many breeders will still require semen from Europe during the month of July, would have a negative impact on European businesses, so it would be in the best interest of everyone to see this process well supported. We members in the UK would also be very happy to provide any support or advice on the process if needed. I understand that this comes at a difficult time, with everyone concerned about the impact of the new Animal Health Law."

    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". Mrs Clarke can be contacted by the EU-based WBFSH members, should they require assistance or advice.

    The WBFSH therefore strongly urges EU-based studbooks to liaise with their competent authorities in order to complete the application for third country status within the given deadline.