Group Attempts to Assist Horse Refused Entry

A 7-year-old Thoroughbred stallion has spent five days crisscrossing the Mediterranean Sea because of an error in the horse's documentation that the destination country will not accept. The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) is trying to cut through the red tape that's preventing Shorten Sail from landing at his final destination: Cyprus.

David Mountford, ILPH's director of operations, said "because of red tape, this poor horse is being shunted backwards and forwards across the Mediterranean. We are liaising with our contacts in Cyprus and DEFRA (the United Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs), to put pressure on the
Cypriot authorities to let this horse in."

The horse left California on a flight to Luxembourg, followed by transport to Athens, Greece. He was to resume his journey by sea and arrive at his final destination in Cyprus. The horse left the Port of Pireus in Athens the afternoon of Jan. 21, and arrived midday in Cyprus Jan. 23. He was refused entry because there was a mistake on his documentation.

Shorten Sail had to stay on the boat and arrived in Israel in the evening of Jan. 24. The stallion was back in Cyprus Jan. 25, but is not allowed entry by the Cypriot authorities because of the paperwork error. He left at noon Jan. 25 for another two-day sea journey back to Pireus, Greece.

According to the ILPH, in recent years a similar situation occurred when a group of rare Mongolian ponies were caught by red tape on their way to Hanover, at the Polish border. The ponies did not live through the ordeal.