Ky. Agriculture Commissioner Quarles praises resumption of equine exports to China.
Terry Branstad and Zhi Shuping after signing of an accord that allows the resumption of U.S. equine exports to China. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (center) and KTA-KTOB executive director Chauncey Morris (left of Quarles) look on. (photo: Kentucky Department of Agriculture)
by Bloodhorse Staff
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles praised the resumption of equine exports to China at a signing ceremony in Beijing Nov. 6.
The agreement, signed by U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and Minister Zhi Shuping of the People’s Republic of China, clears the way for the U.S. to export horses, including Thoroughbreds, to China, where a rapidly expanding racing industry has emerged.
“Today’s announcement is a game-changer for Kentucky’s horse industry,” said Quarles, who attended the signing ceremony in China. “This policy change is the result of work on the part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and will greatly benefit our economy and workers. Today’s announcement is a victory for everyone in the Bluegrass State and all of Kentucky agriculture, from those who raise horses to the farmers who supply their feed.”
In 2015 the Chinese Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) placed a hold on the importation of live horses from America because of concerns about equine infectious anemia, a viral disease spread by blood-feeding insects and potentially fatal to members of the horse family.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association-Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, the American Quarter Horse Association, Keeneland Association, U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, and Quarles worked together to address concerns in China about equine infectious anemia. The effort began with a visit to China in the fall of 2016. Earlier this year, Quarles hosted a Chinese delegation in Kentucky for a site visit.
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