MPI have notified the public that they are seeking feedback on their amendments to the import health standard (IHS) for horses with a specific focus on equine piroplasmosis. Their amendment is now available for external consultation.
Please see the following weblink on the MPI consultation website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/
The consultation is in accordance with section 23(3)(b) of the Biosecurity Act 1993, and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.
If you would like to make a submission, please submit it to MPI by the 30th January 2022. New Zealand Equine Health Association’s submission will be posted here once it is agreed. Horse owners or affected organisations are welcome to email any queries they have to firstname.lastname@example.org
The consultation documents include the background to this change; In essence, in 2020 New Zealand detected that a mare infected with Theileria equi, one of the agents that cause piroplasmosis, was likely infected when she had been previously imported into New Zealand. This resulted in a loss of country freedom for the disease, extensive testing to determine the degree of spread and then the need to collect further data to show that the organism was absent in the NZ horse population. The affected horse was returned to its country of origin. All horse exports were temporarily stopped and only recommenced after extensive negotiations with importing countries that included collecting a lot of substantiating data and an agreement to undertake more pre-export testing.
Even a single incursion of a foreign organism found early, cost the equine sector an extraordinary amount of money and inconvenience.