EFTBA 2023 Autumn Meeting Press Release EFTBA calls for an Emergency Import Licence for ARVAC

On Sunday 26th November 2023, prior to the Tattersalls December sales starting, the EFTBA held its series of Autumn Meetings at the John Lambton Rooms, National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket.

This hybrid Autumn Meeting saw European thoroughbred breeding nations and key breeders coming together to discuss challenges facing the European Thoroughbred Industry as well as the opportunities ever present.

A number of varied matters were discussed at the Autumn Meeting. While many were of concern to Europe’s thoroughbred breeders, one of them took precedence, namely the need for an emergency import license for the Equine Viral Arteritis vaccine, known as ARVAC to be granted for Europe’s breeding nations. It was agreed at this meeting EFTBA should show its support for applications by our country members.

The objective is to ensure ARVAC is made available for the start of the 2024 thoroughbred breeding season. EFTBA is calling for the licence to be granted for 2024, with a review later in the year to establish whether the current manufacturing failure will result in the permanent loss of the Artervac vaccine.

Commenting on this call for an emergency import license, EFTBA Chairman Joe Hernon said “We are doing this on behalf of our European industry which represents 23,000 Thoroughbred breeders in Europe and creates direct and indirect employment for 150,000 people and represents 2.4% of all agricultural output in its multi-billion- euro value to the EU economies.

This industry has been placed in a situation of significantly increased risk of an EVA incursion, which would have catastrophic consequences, as a result of the manufacturing failure of the hitherto widely used vaccine - Artervac. The granting of an emergency import licence, to enable ARVAC to be available for the start of the 2024 thoroughbred breeding season, would protect us from this damaging vulnerability”

Other matters discussed;

EFTBA Country Reports: Regarding the annual collating and presenting of country reports, which gives a statistical insight into status of the European thoroughbred breeding industry, a digital survey would be launched early in 2024. This digital survey will cover all key areas and be presented at the EFTBA 2024 AGM.

EFTBA Promotional Videos Series: Following the production of the inaugural EFTBA promotional video, good feedback has been received from all quarters. This includes the political arena. As a result, a decision has been made for EFTBA to produce series of videos for next year and beyond, with each one highlighting key areas of Europe’s thoroughbred breeding industry while showing the welfare and care we afford our horses. Plans are also being put in place to update the current EFTBA website to make it more visually appealing, easier to navigate and ultimately a comprehensive information hub for breeders.

The TBA successfully launched its Carbon Calculator Tool Project. There are plans being put in place for other European counties to follow suit. It was agreed further cooperation between EFTBA and EHN (European Horse Network) on mutually matters of interest would be of benefit to all breeders.

EFTBA 2024 AGM: The French TBA has kindly offered to host the 2024 AGM of EFTBA next year in Paris during the month of June. The plan is for the AGM to coincide with a key race day in Longchamp. More details to follow.