June 25, 1997
IMPORTING BREEDING STALLIONS FROM NORWAY
|Buying a horse from Europe is not the same thing as buying one from Canada or the US. I just got my new stallion, Felix, home from Norway and I had to jump through many hoops to do it.
There is a lot involved to importing a breeding stallion . The total time testing time was eleven weeks. I needed two test mares, that meant three horses in quarantine. Lucky here in Canada you are allowed to have the animals in quarantine at your own farm. The enclosure that the horses are kept in must be fly proof and 100 yards away from any other horses. Even so, having them at home can save a lot of money.
When shipping a horse from Europe I find it necessary to hire an experienced broker. There is a lot of paper work to be done and a lot of scheduling to be organized. You also need a shipper in Europe to arrange all of the shipping details. The shipper will arrange the trucking from the farm to the airport, the flight, plus all of the exporting and importing papers.
At home the paper work starts with a quarantine station permit. Your barn must be inspected by a government vet. This is a $300 charge. Then you need a blood permit. This permit is sent to the stallion owner in Europe. He sends a blood sample back to the Government labs in Canada. Meanwhile in Europe the stallion is blood tested for CEM. The negative results of the CEM test are sent to Canada. When both negative test are in the Canadian government's hands along with the quarantine station permit, an import permit is issued.
|This import permit plus the CEM certificate, a Coggins test and a veterinarian health certificate must accompany the stallion during shipment. Keep in mind that you have only 30 days from the time the last blood sample is taken for the CEM tests to get your stallion home. Felix came home on the thirtieth day. The import permit is good for six months but the CEM permit is only good for 30 days. If you are a Canadian you must have a GST number and an Import number. If you do not have these numbers, your broker can make arrangements to get them for you.
When horses are shipped by air, there are three horses in a container. If you are only shipping one horse, the shipper in Europe must find two other horses to fill the container. In my case Felix came from Norway and his flying partners were two Polish warmbloods from Poland. Imagine the organizing of time and paper work to have all three horses in the same place at the same time.
Because Felix is a breeding stallion he was only allowed a twenty-four hour rest period in Amsterdam. He left the west coast of Norway on Sunday morning by truck and arrived in Amsterdam Tuesday evening. He was in the air by Wednesday morning.
Felix arrived in Canada at 5pm on the Wednesday and after two hours of signing release forms and a vet check, he was on the way home. I live another three hours away. At this point he had been traveling for four days and was a very tired young man!
|I arrived at the farm at 10 pm with a sealed trailer. On the way home from the airport, I phoned the government vet on the car phone and told him of my estimated time of arrival. He was waiting to release Felix from the trailer. He broke the seal and made sure Felix was put into his stall. Felix was finally mine, and of course, there was an over time charge.
The cost to get Felix from farm to farm was $6,400 Canadian for the shipping, fees and paper work in Europe and $1,400 for the permit fees and services of the broker. $130 was the overtime charge for the Vet to take off the seal on the trailer. Plus I had many phone calls, faxes and courier expenses to Europe. I estimate that my total cost at $8,000 Canadian.
Over and above the traveling cost is the quarantine expense. That started off with a government fee of $350 for stallion testing. My vet was at the farm 20 times in a 15 week period for the testing of CEM. Her fee was $1200.
Would I do it again? Not for awhile. But I feel it is important to bring good breeding stallions into North America. And I like the challenge.