In September 2015, the China Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), stopped issuing import permits and allowing horses from the United States. Since that time, a division under the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been working diligently to reach agreement on a new set of requirements to re-open the market. As part of this process, AQSIQ conducted an audit visit to assess the EIA situation in the U.S., specifically Kentucky and Texas, in April 2017.
Unbridled China President David Snodgrass was contracted to guide the group throughout the visit as an interpreter, which included stops at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, and the American Quarter Horse Association, to name a few.
The AQSIQ officials were given high level access to some of the top labs and equine clinics in the country, and were able to meet with some of the most knowledgeable and respected individuals in the industry to address all of their concerns directly. With stops at Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park, the officials were able to see, first-hand, how the movement of race and sport horses is regulated.
The final hurdle to re-open the Chinese market to American bloodstock will be the signing of a new-and-improved import protocol, hopefully which will happen in September of this year. Keep your fingers crossed!