To all Equine Owners, Managers, Veterinarians, and other Stakeholders,


Due to the still active outbreak of African horse sickness (AHS) within the AHS controlled area protection zone, as well as recent confirmed cases of Equine encephalosis virus, another orbivirus similarly transmitted by the Culicoides midge vector, the start of the AHS vaccination period within the AHS controlled area has been delayed.

As communicated in May of this year, over the past several years the identification, microchipping and DNA parentage verification of thoroughbred horses have been done by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) in collaboration with the Equine Research Centre (ERC), on contract to the NHA. In prior years an average of 4 000 foals were identified each year and the number of registered foals by 31 July would be able to cover the costs.

In recent years the foal crop numbers have dropped below 2 500. Consequently, this has resulted in major cash flow implications for the NHA given the delayed recoupment from breeders, and the increase of the cost by VGL of approximately 10% every year without a corresponding increase in fees by the NHA. As a result, the NHA was left with no option but to terminate the contract with VGL as of 31 July 2020. 

Accordingly, the NHA in consultation with the TBA have looked at the option to balance cost and integrity of data. After an evaluation of several options, it was decided that VGL will still perform the identification, microchipping and parentage verification for the 2020 foal crop. 

As previously communicated in April of this year the foal levy paid to the Equine Research Council (ERC) as well as the contribution to the South African Equine Health and Protocols (SAEHP) would be collected at a later date. This was to allow for the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) Council the opportunity to discuss the matter with their members at their Annual General Meeting (AGM). 

Subsequently, the TBA AGM was held on Monday 27 July 2020 and it was agreed that an “Export Levy” of R1635 (VAT incl.) be levied on the registrations of each 2019 foal. The levy is aimed to support the direct export of South African Bloodstock to the international community. With the current COVID-19 pandemic it is envisaged that a virtual audit will be conducted by the European Union within this year. 

Accordingly, all 2019 foals that have been registered or paid for by 12 August 2020 will be sent an additional invoice for the Export Levy. Foal registration that will be done from 13 August 2020 will have the "Export Levy" fee included on to the invoice. The export levy applies to the 2019 foals and at the discretion of Council this may be extended.

For a Thoroughbred Stud Book to be considered to have "Approved" status, the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) requires that it publishes full foal crop details, either in a Stud Book volume or supplement, in book form or the electronic medium on a website by 30th September of the yearling year for Southern Hemisphere Stud Books, of which South Africa is included under.

In order for the General Stud Book of Southern Africa to comply with best practises and international Rules and Guidelines it is important that deadlines be adhered to.Registrations for the 2019 foal crop is 15 July 2020. The foal registration process comprises of:

  • Foal Fee payment;
  • Mare return being submitted by the mare owner;
  • Annual mare fee – (year of covering and year of foaling)
  • Covering Certificate submission;
  • Permission to register unnamed or with an approved name.

Please be advised that at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, it was agreed that an additional Breeder Foal Levy will be charged on all initial foal registrations to assist with the funding of SA Equine Health and Protocols NPC (SAEHP), in order to obtain direct export approval through the European Union. This fee will be levied on all 2018 foals onwards.

Breeders who have already paid the 2018 foal fees are required to pay the shortfall amount of R1 150 (VAT incl) per foal, in order for passports to be issued. These invoices will be forwarded to the respective breeders on 6 May 2019.