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Amendment to equine piroplasmosis measures for importing horses

Have your say

From 30 November 2021 to 30 January 2022, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) invites comment on proposed changes to the equine piroplasmosis measures in the import health standard (IHS) for horses – the IHS: Equids (currently suspended).

The IHS has been revised to include a requirement for an additional diagnostic test (polymerase chain reaction or PCR assay) to detect the organisms causing equine piroplasmosis. This additional measure complements the existing serological testing requirements that are already in place.

The current IHS requires horses to be negative to both an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and complement fixation test (CFT) serological tests. However, the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Terrestrial Manual (chapter 3.6.8) describes both serological and PCR testing to be carried out to ensure imported horses are not early infected prior to an immune response becoming detectable by serology.

Accordingly, the amendment for the equine piroplasmosis measures includes the 2 serological tests but also the addition of a PCR assay to be carried out.

Full details of the proposed changes and scientific justification can be found in the risk management proposal and supporting rapid risk assessment. 

Consultation documents

Draft risk management proposal equids [PDF, 253 KB]

Draft import health standard equids [PDF, 625 KB]

Guidance document [PDF, 843 KB]

Related documents

NZL 675 - SPS notification [PDF, 103 KB]

IHS: Equids (suspended) [PDF, 862 KB]

Making your submission

Email your feedback on the draft IHS before 30 January 2022 to

Make sure you include in your submission:

  • the title of the consultation document in the subject line of your email
  • your name and title, if applicable
  • your organisation's name (if you're submitting on behalf of an organisation)
  • your contact details (for example, phone number, address, and email).

While we prefer email, you can send your submission by post to:

Animal Imports team
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

All submissions received by the closing date will be considered before the amended import health standard (IHS) is issued. MPI may hold late submissions on file for consideration when the issued IHS is next revised or reviewed.

Steps to finalising the new IHS

After consultation on a draft import health standard, MPI publishes a provisional IHS.

If you made a submission during the consultation, you have 10 working days to notify the Director-General of MPI that you intend to request an independent review. Reviews are limited to whether specific scientific evidence was given sufficient consideration.

If no review is requested within 10 working days, then the provisional IHS is confirmed and the final IHS is issued.

For more information about reviews, refer to Section 24 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 – NZ Legislation

Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation

Legal background 

MPI must consult with interested parties in accordance with section 23 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) and MPI's consultation policy before issuing or amending (other than of minor or urgent nature) import health standards (IHS) under sections 24A and 24B of the Act.

An IHS specifies import requirements that must be met either in the country of origin or of export, or during transit, before biosecurity clearance can be given for the goods to enter New Zealand. MPI must ensure that these requirements are technically justified and provide an appropriate level of biosecurity protection.