Government officials from the Hong Kong SAR and the Chinese Mainland, along with industry experts from around the world, toured the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Conghua Training Centre on Wednesday following the International Conference on the Equine Disease-free Zone (EDFZ) held Tuesday at Sha Tin.
Dr. Graeme Cooke, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer (UK), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “The establishment of the permanent Equine Disease-free Zone in Conghua, Guangdong, to OIE biosecurity standards, is a very clear success for the veterinary authorities of China and Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. It is a tremendous achievement. This AFCD-led conference and the opportunity to visit the impressively constructed facilities within the EDFZ, demonstrated the high investment that has been made to make it happen. As one of the world’s top breeders of horses, the U.K. recognizes this major advance, and looks forward to accelerating future collaboration with both the Hong Kong Jockey Club and China.”
Dr Alf-Eckbert Fussel, Deputy Head of Unit, Animal Health and Welfare for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety noted: “The Equine Disease-free Zone is a crucial element of the Conghua Training Centre and I am very pleased with what I’ve seen during our visit, in particular the exemplary attention to detail in the construction of the site, with every regard taken for biosecurity. It should be a tremendous home for Hong Kong horses. It is now important to maintain the integrity of the entire site including the transport and to continue the necessary surveillance in its surroundings.”
Dr Patricia Ellis, former senior Australian government veterinarian and Member of the Order of Australia, member of the International Movement of Horses Committee and consultant veterinarian to the Asian Racing Federation, added: “I am most impressed by what I’ve seen in Conghua. The focus on biosecurity throughout the site is unmatched by any other facility designed for active, in-training thoroughbreds in the world.”