FEI, OIE to Host International Movement of Horses Conference

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) will jointly host a conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Oct. 24 focusing on modernizing international movement of horses in South America.

The conference will also allow participants to attend the 2011 Pan American Games, which are taking place in Guadalajara, October 14-30.

With the mandate to improve animal health and welfare worldwide, the OIE is recognized as the reference standard-setting international organization by the World Trade Organization.

The current use of OIE standards allows the safe movement of horses while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers.

This unique conference will bring together a variety of experts from the OIE, the FEI, representatives from the public sector including Veterinary Services, and all relevant stakeholders from the private sector.

Key areas that will be discussed include best approaches to safely moving horses internationally, in particular to competitions in compliance with international standards. An overview of the issues within the region's growing equine horse industry will also be given.

"This upcoming event offers a unique opportunity to discuss the ways in which world equine animal populations can be protected from diseases, thanks to the appropriate implementation of existing international animal health standards," said OIE Director General Bernard Vallat, DVM. "The conference will bring all stakeholders together to address these issues at regional and global level, in the context of massively growing equestrian sports."

HRH Princess Haya, president of the FEI, explained: "The FEI fully supports the objectives of the OIE and it is now more important than ever that nations take these on board.

"The FEI has been working alongside the OIE to find the right transportation and quarantine solutions for horses and athletes wishing to compete outside their country of origin. Safe but practical health requirements are key to the success and continuing development of the equestrian industry around the world.

"This unique joint conference is taking place at a time when horse movement within South America is at its highest and it will be the perfect platform to bring about enhanced solutions."

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