16 March 2018
Prof. Reichel (Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences) and Prof. Hampson (Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health) along with Prof. Pfeiffer and Dr. Rosanowski attended the ‘International Conference on the Equine Disease Free Zone’ held in Hong Kong from 10 to 13 December 2017.
More than 140 government officials from Mainland China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Korea, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Hong Kong, as well as academic, industry and veterinary stakeholders attended the conference which was jointly hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of the Hong Kong SAR.
Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, opened the conference and witnessed a signing ceremony for four memoranda of understanding between Hong Kong and Mainland China government authorities. These agreements are formalising policies and procedures governing the establishment and operation of an equine disease free zone (EDFZ) in the Conghua District ofGuangzhou, China, and associated horse movement arrangements between the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s new Conghua Training Centre in Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR. This EDFZ is free of multiple specified equine diseases and protected from the introduction of such diseases. The EDFZ concept is supported by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Under the EDFZ, Hong Kong horses will have the same health status whether they are stabled and trained in Sha Tin, Hong Kong SAR, or at the HKJC’s Conghua Training Centre, due to open in Guangdong, China, in August 2018. They can travel between both locations and race in Hong Kong, as well as against overseas horses in international races.
The conference’s objective was to promote cross-boundary movement of horses and the EDFZ concept and to provide a platform for international experts and interested individuals to exchange information and provide networking opportunities. Included was a field trip to the Conghua Training Centre for participants to visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s newly constructed state-of-the-art horse stabling and training facilities, as well as to show how the expedited horse movement logistics will operate when it becomes fully operational in the 3rd quarter of 2018.