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Horses: Exports

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his officials last raised with the European Commission the ban on the import of UK thoroughbred bloodstock by the Indian Government. (203077)

DEFRA has raised the issue of the ban on the export of breeding horses to India with the European Commission (and others) several times over many years, most recently in March this year. We will continue to do so as we and the Commission is very keen to resolve this long-standing issue in line with international protocol (World Animal Health Organisation) for Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM). The Commission has recently urged the Indian authorities to accept our invitation to visit the UK to see our CEM controls but the Indians have not so far taken up the offer. The Indian ban affects all countries in which CEM has occurred in the past three years, which includes other member states.