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If you want to export your horse, whether to Europe or around the world, it must be accompanied by an export health certificate issued by DEFRA and completed by an Official Veterinarian (OV).
The individual requirements of a health certificate are dependent on the country the horse is travelling to and, if applicable, where the horse may have travelled to before. Some countries require certain blood tests or swabs to be performed prior to export or for the horse to have specific vaccinations. It is the responsibility of the owner, often in combination with their chosen shipping company, to ensure all these requirements are met prior to the export date.
All the RVC equine practice vets are Official Veterinarians and, as such, can complete health certificates prior to export and are happy to advise you on the processes involved.
From January 2022, for horses travelling to Northern Ireland or the EU, the stables or premises from where the horses are departing from are required to have a county parish holding (CPH) number. To apply for a CPH number please see the APHA website
We do strongly recommend that you plan any export well in advance so that all tests can be carried out, or vaccinations administered, in a timely fashion so that the actual completion of the certificate and departure of the horse can be as smooth as possible.
For more information regarding the exportation of horses, please see the DEFRA website