Horse exports from the Western Cape have this week resumed following an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the region earlier this year.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said 82 horses are leaving the city this month destined for the province’s strategic export markets.
The first export of 29 horses left Cape Town International Airport yesterday morning (4 July 2016). The second group of 53 horses are set to depart later this month.
Minister Winde said the process was arranged and managed by export agents, Hobday Equestrian Enterprises, with the assistance of Western Cape Government vets.
“They will serve a three-month quarantine period in Mauritius. The majority of the horses are endurance horses and are en route to the United Arab Emirates, where our horses are in major demand.”
In March, 35 horses left Cape Town to start their quarantine period in Mauritius. These horses arrived at their final destinations in the UAE and Europe last week.
The developments come after Minister Winde led a Western Cape delegation to Dubai last year. Increasing the trade of horses between the two regions was a key priority of the official visit.
Minister Winde said this week’s export was the first since an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the Boland in April.
Movement controls within the surveillance zone to contain the outbreak were lifted in June. Minister Winde said including the initial case, 21 horses on eight properties within the established containment zone tested positive for infection with AHS virus. There were four deaths in total.
“Due to the swift response by our vets and the co-operation of the horse owners, we were able to contain the outbreak and are now able to resume international exports. Our horses are sought-after internationally and we know the horse export industry is an important economic generator. It has been reported that this industry adds R200 million to the national economy each year, with the potential to increase to R1 billion. The horse exports leaving our province this month, once again show that the Western Cape will play a key role in the growth of the industry.”
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government