9 October 2015, Geneva ~ Brazils National Federation President Luiz Roberto Giugni recently spoke about his frustration with delays by the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry in regards to issuing documentation needed to allow horses that will compete at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 to enter and leave Brazil from Europe, the United States and Canada.
Regulations for bringing horses to and from Brazil are strict, as the country is still subject to diseases affecting horses. Glanders, a lethal highly contagious bacterial infection, was recently diagnosed in a few horses stabled at a military facility near the site of the 2016 Olympic equestrian competitions. Officials said the disease had been contained and represented no threat to the Olympic events.
Following the statements by the Brazilian National Federation, FEI President Ingmar De Vos issued the following statement on 7 October:
“We have been working for some time with Rio2016, the Brazilian and Rio Authorities and the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture to get the Veterinary Certificate and Protocol approved that will define the conditions for importation and exportation of the horses that will compete at the Rio Olympic Games. The process of approval of the equine health certificate by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture has already taken a lot of time and is still not finalized. This has an important impact as it delays the planning and preparation of the horses that will take part in the Games.
“As the President of the Brazilian Equestrian National Federation, Luiz Robert Giugni has supported us very actively during these negotiations and we appreciate that in his efforts to help the equestrian community in the discussions with his compatriots he is applying all possible pressure to achieve this.
“We have had further discussions earlier this week and I expect the Ministry of Agriculture to issue this certificate very soon so that we can carry on with preparations for the Olympic Games and that the biosecurity protocols will ensure the safe import and export of the Olympic horses.
Therefore we are confident that our horses will be allowed to travel back and forth to Rio to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games together with all the other Olympic sports. We are looking forward to very successful Olympic equestrian events in Deodoro next year.”