The Shuttle Stallion series returns this edition with a focus on some of the paperwork and testing that has to be done before our stallions can actually be shipped overseas.
For this article, we talked with Dr. Courtney Pink and Rachel Keeney, both who have been instrumental in making sure “all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed.”
Both Dr. Pink and Rachel work closely with International Racehorse Transport (IRT), who will provide the list of testing and vaccination requirements for each country. IRT arranges the quarantine and flight schedules for all of the stallions. Diamond Creek will collect the test samples (swabs, serum, and/or semen) and provide the residency and veterinary certifications.
Starting with the vaccines and testing needing to be done, the stallions are given Veterra Gold (typical spring vaccination) and some stallions are given a vaccination for EVA (Equine Viral Arteritis). They also have to have their blood tested for Vesicular Stomatitis and CEM swabs for Taylorella. According to Dr.Pink, “On stallions vaccinated for EVA, we collect a semen sample because a serum sample will show positive with the vaccination, and we need to ensure that the stallion is a non-shedder of EVA.”
Testing varies depending on the destination country and if the stallion is being sent itself, or if we are sending frozen semen. Rachel says, “Many of the requirements are similar between Europe, NZ, and AUS but their quarantine periods or test dates are different.”
For example, Europe requires testing (EVA, VS, CEM) before and after collections, and requires that the semen be held in quarantine for at least 30 days prior to shipping. New Zealand and Australia on the other hand, require the same types of testing but do not require the 30-day hold. When collecting for frozen semen, Diamond Creek completes all the testing so that the frozen semen will qualify for all destinations.
When the breeding season Down Under is over, our partner studs, such as Nevele R or Woodlands, take care of the testing and paperwork for the stallions’ return trip. The only worry is the typical risks of airline travel and ensuring the stallions will be back on farm to start our season.
Rachel’s final thought,” It’s a tricky process, even with the best of veterinarians, brokers, and shippers. If one small thing is off or missed, the horse won’t ship. Fortunately, since we are usually sending the same stallions to the same farms with the same transport company year after year, surprises (thankfully, knock on wood) are limited.”