SA wants EU ban lifted on horses

Cape Agriculture Dept is confident an EU ban on horse exports can finally be lifted.

Western Cape Agriculture Department is confident the EU ban on horse exports can be lifted as African Horse Sickness is no longer a threat. Picture: Abed Ahmed/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Agriculture Department said on Monday it is confident a European Union ban on horse exports from South Africa will be lifted in coming months.

The ban has been in place since the outbreak of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in Mamre on the West Coast, three years ago.

The disease killed dozens of horses after it spread to other regions.

But the department's Wouter Kriel told Eyewitness News recent test results show the disease hasn't spread.

"It means that the process of reinstating exports can continue and it should not hamper this application. It might still take a few months but should not be delayed because of this incident."

Kriel said movement restrictions have been lifted following a horse's death in Melkbosstrand.

"At this stage we don't see AHS as a major threat anymore and therefore horse owners can move their horses again, just following the normal requirements."