South African Equine Health & Protocols NPC

SAEHP

Overview

Having commenced operations in 2018 SA Equine Health & Protocols NPC (SAEHP) is an NPC formed to ensure the sustainability and security of the African Horse Sickness control zones through various risk mitigation measures and controls.

SAEHP implements and maintains these measures under the authority of the South African National Director of Animal Health. SAEHP operates in a public/private partnership with the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and the Western Cape Department of Veterinary Services (WCVS).

SAEHP also collaborates with DALRRD and the DTIC (Department of Trade, Industry and Competition) to negotiate the reimplementation of direct exports based on EU protocol principles to the EU and the UK and other potential trade partner countries.

Workplan and Goals

Primarily to coordinate the successful negotiation of direct exports based on existing EU protocols. Future trade protocols will be developed based on OIE lockdown quarantine prinicples, as proven possible in the risk assessment study conducted by AusVet.

To maintain the actions taken to address the shortcomings of the 2013 EU Audit, which found that South Africa was not able to ensure the absence of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in the controlled zone. Until this was resolved, direct exports to the EU could not recommence.

To coordinate and facilitate a united focus and drive towards these goals with one national strategy and voice.

Board of Directors

David Abery (Chairman)

Mike de Kock

Vaughan Köster

Adrian Todd (MD)

myHorse

The myHorse system maintains matters realted to equine health and is managed by SAEHP. Basic information on how to move a horse is available in the MOVING MY HORSE which includes the risk status of teh coutry that is currently impacting movement. The INFOGRAPHICS tab provides schematic information on health and control related matters including the overarching requirements regarding equine movement in South Africa and the use of AHS vaccine in the AHS controlled area. We generate a number of REPORTS that provide an overview of our various vaccination, movement and surveillance control measures. For clients and veterinarians that require forms or links to our various platforms please go to the FORMS tab. Equine health controls change throughout the year depending on season and risk. All notifications on current status are available HERE. Contact details for various control points are available in the CONTACTS tab and more information on our team is available in the about us section. The ADMIN section is password protected and used for our staff to access the system.

An overview of movement and current status for SOuth Africa

AHS movement control

The basic components of movement control are summarised and can be found in the first two schematic links below. The primary difference is the requirement for a State Veterinary Permit (which is not required for Protection Zone movements to an area of greater control given the authority (Provincial Veterinary Services) and links between the Protection Zone and State Vet Boland).

All regulatory information regarding movement is available in the AHS Veterinary Procedural Notice - links below.

In summary the movement control requirements when there are no AHS cases (or any other related factors) influencing movement are:
  • A valid passport per horse moving
  • AHS vaccinations must be up to date - the horse must have had its last AHS bottle not less than 40 days prior to movement and within 2 years of movement
  • A correctly completed and submitted pre-movement application (which can be downloaded from the forms section of the SAEHP website here) prior to movement
  • If all requirements are in place, a permit is issued by the State to the nominated private vet who is due to perform the health check within 72 hours of movement
  • The health check is performed by the Private Veterinarian and recorded in the passport. The certified passport and permit should accompany the horse moving.
  • A prenotification of movement must be issued by the private veterinarian to SV Boland by email within 72 hours of movement.

Movement of horses from the infected zone into the controlled area are heavily influenced by the time of year and associated risk of African horse sickness being introduced into the AHS controlled area of South Africa. Movement either occurs during a high or a low risk period, this risk is based on AHS reports and the professional evaluation of the State Vet at origin, from where the movement is occurring. The schematics and summary above cover the requirements for movement from low risk areas. Please click on the tab in this webpage called Movement from high risk areas to see how to move a horse into the controlled area when AHS cases from the area of origin impact on movements.

The South African African Horse Sickness controlled area is defined by zones (Free, Surveillance and Protection) delineated from the AHS infected area which is the rest of South Africa. These zones have been established in both South African law Animal Diseases Act - 36 of 1984 and as part of the EU protocol, specifically 2001/622/EC which amended the initial zoning boundaries as described in the annex of Decision 97/10/EC.
  • The LAYERS button on the top right of the map allows layers to be toggled on and off

As discussed in the overview and movements from high risk areas sections of this website: the occurrence of AHS will impact the ability to move horses into the AHS controlled area of South Africa. It is not only confirmed cases that might impact movement. In general the following information can be taken into consideration before a movement permit is issued:

  1. Confirmation of a case of AHS within an area with the last case within 40 days (OIE infectious period) of movement
  2. Suspicion of disease where AHS could be considered a differential diagnosis based on deaths and/or clinical signs in a susceptible population
  3. Time of year: AHS is seasonal based on the vector (Culicoides midges) component of transmission. Colder months are less likely to contain AHS cases.
  4. Proximity to a large population of equids of unknown AHS status - an example of this would be areas close to Kruger Park with their large population of Zebra
  5. Unexpected weather patterns that may result in higher than expected vector populations
  6. Higher than usual prevalence of other vector borne arboviral infections - consider Equine Encepahalosis as an example


An AHS risk profile per State Vet area is been utilised to assist with movement decisions - this is the Area Status Declaration system.

The map below includes a layer on the current AHS risk profile, which changes based on the list of factors above.

The definitions of various AHS risks for areas are:
  • AHS High Risk
    • This is where the disease factors or recent history of a disease precludes direct movement into the AHS controlled area. In this case movements into the controlled area can only take place using one of the options highlighted in the Movement from high risk areas section of this website.
  • AHS Low Risk
    • The risk of AHS is low enought to allow direct movements of horses to the AHS controlled zone - note that permits are still required for these movements and the low risk status does not mean that ths standard requirements for movements should not be met.
  • AHS Partial High Risk
    • This occurs where, due to the season and/or size of State Vet areas, there are parts of an area that are considered AHS High Risk and parts are Low risk. In this case the Client will be informed when they attempt to move from these areas that they may be required to comply with the Movement from high risk areas section of this website. A typical example of this is the Gauteng area in June/July - often there are sporadic cases in this period that do not affect the entire area, but do require that individual movements are evaluated to determine whether they would require further risk mitigation measures.
  • No risk allocated
    • Not all parts of South Africa are involved in movements of horses to the controlled area. In these cases movements and AHS risk associated with them are determined on a case by case basis, and AHS risk declarations are not required from each State Vet for each month. In summary: areas where there are no reported cases of AHS in recent history, but also no requests for movements, would be allocated the no risk allocated category.

Current Risk profile for the country

Historically the infected zone of South Africa has cases of AHS during the summer months, often from as early as November but generally at least from 1 February through to 30 June each year. If an area is considered high risk then additional risk mitigation measures are put in place. Three options exist for movements during high risk periods:

  1. Move horses to a low risk area, remain there for at least 40 days and apply for movement as per normal application
  2. Move horses from a vector protected facility in the high risk area
  3. Move horses via stop-over quarantine in low risk areas of the country

1. Move horses to a low risk area, remain there for at least 40 days and apply for movement as per normal application

All requirements as per normal movement apply.
2. Move horses from a vector protected facility in the high risk area

A high health protocol is approved for direct movements of intensively managed sport horses from high risk areas. In addition to the standard requirements for movement, this protocol involves:

  • a minimum 14 day vector protected quarantine with testing in an approved vector protected facility with strict monitoring which is audited by independent officials at the cost of the owner/ trainer in the high risk area prior to movement
  • direct movement in vector protected transport
    • the horses cannot be offloaded at any point in transit
    • the truck is sealed at origin
    • the seal may only be broken by a State official at destination
This protocol is only approved under exceptional circumstances as it requires:

  • timeous inspection and approval of the vector protected facilities at origin by both the local state veterinarian and the owner/trainer appointed private veterinarian according to a strict set of criteria
  • written acceptance of the management and monitoring requirements by the owner/trainer and appointed private veterinarian
  • appointment of an independent inspector to audit the process
  • intensive management and record keeping
Please email us for more information on this protocol.
3. Move horses via stop-over quarantine in low risk areas of the country

3. 1 Movement from the high risk area TO the stop-over facility

The requirements for movement as during the low risk period are to be followed EXCEPT for:

  • The permit from the State veterinarian to move TO the stop-over facility is not required
  • The pre-notification of movement to SV Boland for the movement TO the stop-over facility is not required
Clients liaise directly with Stop Over managers regarding booking of horses. Some stop-over facilities require a pre-movement negative PCR test prior to entry. For information on available Stop Over facilities email us or download this document for more info.

NOTE:If the stop-over facility is in the AHS Protection Zone then pre-movement PCR prior to entry into the facility is COMPULSORY.

3.2. Movement FROM the stop-over facility TO the AHS controlled area

For movements FROM the stop-over facility to the Controlled area ALL requirements as per low risk movements must be complied with, and ADDITIONALLY the following:

  • A negative AHS PCR test to be performed on samples taken at least 14 days after Stop Over quarantine has commenced. This result must be sent to the local State Veterinarian responsible for the Stop Over facility as well as emailed to SV Boland.

Further notes

Sporadic outbreaks of AHS occur throughout the year in some parts of the country. Historically Gauteng has had isolated AHS outbreaks outside of the high risk period which have affected horse movements. (Horses cannot move from an area within 30 km of an outbreak that occurred within the previous 40 days). If an isolated outbreak occurs, the horses that are resident in the 30 km radius of the outbreak will be under a movement ban for a minimum of 40 days after the outbreak. For this reason it may be worth planning for such an event and moving horses that are destined for the controlled area into the area well in advance, or alternatively planning to make use of one of the options for movement during a high risk period.

Forms and Links

Current links of interest

Cederberg AHS outbreak

Outbreak website


Public myhorse Applications

Notifications

Click notification detail to view

Contact us

SAEHP all enquiries: +27 (0) 21 001 4363

Application or Query type Email link
Applications to move equids into and within the AHS controlled area and any equine movement related enquiries move
Applications to vaccinate equines against AHS in the AHS controlled area and any vaccination in the AHS controlled area enquiries vaccinate
Information about the identification of horses identification
Pre-notification of movement (vets only) prenote
AHS case reporting or information on sample collection for AHS confirmation and testing please contact your local state veterinarian and/or SAEHP sampling/cases
Zebra related queries - regarding the registration of properties in terms of the Animal Diseases Act 1984 (Act no 35 of 1984) for the keeping of zebra or for movement of zebra within and into the AHS controlled area zebra
To report a transgression within the AHS controlled area relating to illegal movement, vaccination or any other equid related law enforcement matter within or relating to the AHS controlled area regulate

SAEHP's team

SAEHP is a team of management, adminstrative, veterinary and para-veterinary personnel that works in a public private partnership with the Western Cape and National Veterinary Services.

Adrian Todd

Managing Director

Dr Beverley Parker

BVSc

DALRRD Liaison and Consulting

Dr Camilla Weyer

BVSc, MSc, PhD

Veterinary Logistics Manager

Dr John Grewar

BVSc, MSc, PhD

Research and Innovation Manager

LinkedIn

Dr Debra Carter

BSc, BVSc

Regulatory and Oversight Veterinarian

Lizel Germishuys

AHT: Admin and Surveillance

Esthea Russouw

AHT: Admin and Surveillance

Danielle Pienaar

Administrator: Permit & Vaccination Permissions

Marie van der Westhuizen

Administrator: Multiple Movements

Tilla Viljoen

Assistant to the MD: HR & Accounts

Johanne Jacobs

Administrator: Permit & Vaccination Permissions


Note

The turnaround time for any application or enquiry, including movement permits, will be an absolute minimum of 7 days. Please contact our office at 021 001 4363 (or WhatsApp 082 440 3080 for medical emergency movements) for more information.

SAEHP