By Kim Graetz
Charles Frank, the veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said that in a meeting earlier this week of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders that a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. "We hope within days we will know what the problem is," said Frank. "This is no time to bring pregnant mares back anyway, but there are a number of yearlings waiting to come back."
He said the group felt it was advisable to recommend that breeders and owners wait until more information is available as to the cause of the problems in Kentucky and elsewhere to bring horses home. "We suspect that by the end of the month this will be cleared up sufficiently" to remove the recommendations, said Frank. He said the recommendations are just that, and have no regulatory implications.
The European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders has representatives from the five major Thoroughbred breeding countries in the European Union--Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, and Germany--plus representatives from other, smaller Thoroughbred breeding countries such as Spain and Norway.
"The last thing we want is a ban," said Frank.