COVID-19 lockdown time has been a busy period for the South African Health and Protocols (SAEHP), whose work behind the scenes has continued unabated.
Adrian Todd, CEO of SAEHP, told Turf Talk on Monday that Equine Disease Control is regarded as a so-called essential service in this time.
“We’re are working with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and continuing our African Horse Sickness (AHS) surveillance,” said Todd. “March, April and May are normally high-risk months. Surveillance continues, we simply can’t stop the control of one disease in favour of another.”
“The lockdown period has given us the time to reflect and our staff are working as hard as possible ensuring that our internal auditing systems are in place in preparation for the EU audit. SAEHP is also in the process of completing a final funding drive to ensure that our goal of exporting bloodstock is reached.
“Disease control, as we are all well aware, is not a stop-and-start process. Our AHS risk mitigation procedures must stay in place. Even though no transport permits are being issued right now, our admin staff are busy processing vaccination permissions for the controlled zones.”
Todd said that SAEHP continues to be involved in assisting with the control measures for Covid19. “It has been difficult but rewarding. A crisis tends to bring out the worst and the best in people and racing people have been at their best in their support.”
“This is South Africa’s last chance to finally get our exports approved. As we all work after Covid-19, exports will be one of the vital aspects in the rebuilding of racing’s economy.
“The Racing Association (RA) has taken the lead in funding the Covid-19 risk controls and really must be commended for all the work they have done in this crisis in all areas.
“It has been refreshing to see the industry come together, we have been working to continually improve Covid-19 control measures for all racing’s participants.
“The NHA has also done a superb job in liaising with government on these issues, and preparing a portfolio of racing’s risk mitigation measures.
“We haven’t had a single positive test in this time…”
“Our measures at the training centres include access control, temperature screenings and sanitation protocols and we are very pleased to report that we haven’t had a single positive test in this time. We have two nursing sisters on our staff permanently on call for the Highveld racetracks and conducting Covid-19 screening.
“These measures are constantly improving and revolving and are vital in our fight to protect our racing people against the virus.”