Regional Workshop for Asia, the Far East and Oceania; Facilitation of International Competition Horse Movement

Hong Kong SAR, 18-20 February 2014


Regional Workshop for Asia, Far East and Oceania was held in Hong Kong on 18 – 21 February 2014. It was organised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in collaboration with the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA), and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong SAR (AFCD) with the support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who generously provided their Happy Valley Race Course venues, which set the scene for the topic of the Workshop:


The Workshop was attended by 21 Government participants from 18 countries in the region and 5 Government participants from 3 countries outside the region, namely South Africa, Qatar and Turkmenistan. These countries had been invited because of existing close ties with the racing sport in Asia and a considerable volume of horse movement. The National Equestrian Federations were represented by 20 participants from 13 countries in the region and FEI headquarter staff. The National Racing Authorities were represented by 18 participants from 7 countries in the region and 4 countries outside the region, namely South Africa, Qatar, Turkey and Turkmenistan. IFHA headquarters was also represented. Hong Kong SAR Government was represented by its OIE Delegate and 12 other participants. A total of 12 speakers gave presentations during the Workshop. The total number of participants was 96 people and some dignitaries who attended the Opening Ceremonies.

The Workshop was officially opened by the Secretary for Food and Health, Food and Health Bureau, HK SAR.

In the last decade, there has been significant worldwide growth in the sport horse industry, bringing socio-economic benefits to many national economies and to the horse industry itself. This growth, however, faces a number of challenges that impede the free and safe international movement of competition horses as well as the expansion of the equine industry. These obstacles include inconsistent approaches to the application of health regulations and quarantine, leading to excessive and irregular health requirements for the importation of horses.

In order to discuss these constraints and to engage the public and private stakeholders in a dialogue, the Workshop brought together participants from Veterinary Services, National Equestrian Federations and National Racing Authorities. Prior to the workshop, a survey was carried out on the currently existing importation requirements. The results of this analysis formed the basis for the discussions.

The OIE proposal on forming a sub-population of high health, high performance horses (HHP horse) to address these constraints was elaborated  and it was highlighted that it is based on existing OIE standards, particularly those on zoning and compartmentalization, biosecurity, identification and traceability, and health certification – which will be adapted for application to the sub-population of HHP horses.

The Workshop was composed of lectures and working group sessions with feedback to plenary. The reports of the 2 working group sessions are available. All key issues raised during the Workshop were summarized in a podium discussion where OIE, FEI, IFHA and AFCD answered questions from the floor. The overall outcome of working sessions and the podium discussion led to the formulation of recommendations from this Workshop. A summary of the key issues and those recommendations is available. 



Reports of the 2 Working Group sessions

Summary and recommendations

Final Report

Photo Gallery