Echoing the concerns of Irish counterpart Brian Kavanagh (Chief Executive of Horseracing Ireland), Olivier Delloye, Director General of France Galop has stated that a no deal Brexit, will severely damage the entire equine value chain, with regards to racing, breeding, transport, animal welfare and certifications.
Leading France’s horseracing authority, Delloye states that at present the UK, Ireland and France, simply do not sustain the border capacities to enforce effective/efficient equine checks on travel in the outcome of a no deal Brexit.
Equine travel between the UK, Ireland and France, is currently maintained by the laws of the ‘Tripartite Agreement (TPA 2014)’ – which allows for unrestricted travel as equine checks and documentation are administered/monitored by EU sanctioned Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs). The UK will drop out of the TPA, should a no deal Brexit be realised.
At present, it is estimated that around 26,000 horses are transported between the UK, Ireland and France for multiple purposes (racing, breeding, auctions, welfare etc), with the majority moved by road and ferry.
Detailing French no deal logistics, Delloye states that at present there are only three French border ports, that can carry-out equine inspections, situated at Roissy (Charles de Gaulle), Lyon and Deauville.
In his warning, Delloye anticipates higher costs for racing stakeholders, who may be forced to transport equine via expensive air-travel routes.
“In the case of a hard Brexit with enforced border controls, yes there will be a reduction on the number of British horses coming to France. But the biggest difference will be seen in the number of horses making the journey for breeding purposes. Irish mares will still travel by air.”
Furthermore, there will be an 11.5% surcharge stemming from new taxes brought about through Brexit. This will also be the case from the UK to Ireland or France
“The reduction in the number of foreign horses travelling to Britain for the big meetings will not be negligible either. The risk of a drop in the number of runners for group races, and notably the classics in all three countries, is real. Success and the level of racing depending on the ease of movement of horses.”
This March, Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland laid out stark consequences to the UK government, underlying that no deal, would send the UK & IRE equine industries into recession.
“If the United Kingdom leaves without a deal, the repercussions will be catastrophic at every level – financial hit on the racing industry, employment, Europeans’ work status in the UK….”