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THE Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) informed the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) that it intends to suspend horse movements between the two jurisdictions.

The suspension is due to come into effect from 2 October 2017, pending a review of the biosecurity controls related to the Equine Disease Free Zone (EDFZ) between Hong Kong and Conghua in the Chinese Mainland.

Implications of this suspension include:

Horses cannot be transported directly from Hong Kong to Australia for participation in racing events or for retirement purposes.

Australian horses will not be permitted to travel to compete in Hong Kong’s international races.

Hong Kong horses transported to Australia via New Zealand will require 180 days residency in New Zealand.

Horse movements to and from Hong Kong in relation to other countries are unaffected by this DAWR decision. Horses from every jurisdiction other than Australia will still be able to travel and compete in Hong Kong on exactly the same conditions as have previously existed. Horses purchased in Australia for permanent export to Hong Kong are also not affected by the DAWR decision.

In a press release dated 14 September 2017, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Racing Authority Executive Director, Andrew Harding expressed the HKJC’s disappointment at Australia’s decision to disrupt the movement of horses between the two jurisdictions.  “This is a highly prejudicial action and it is at odds with the substantial economic relationship between the racing, breeding and wagering sectors of Australia and Hong Kong, which has existed for many years,” said Harding.

Photo: Andrew Harding, HKJC.