USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced the finalized amendments to its import regulations for horses.
The amendments will better align regulations with international standards and allow more flexibility for permitted imports while continuing to mitigate the risk of bringing equine diseases into the United States. The regulations also provide APHIS with more regulatory authority to enforce standards for transporting horses. The changes include increasing the amount of time allowed for horses to be in a contagious equine metritis-affected region without testing upon their return to the United States from 60 to 90 days.
The amendments also update ports designated for the importation of horses, adding requirements for health certifications and requiring that horses transiting Central America or the West Indies comply with the same regulations that apply to horses directly imported from these regions, given the greater risk of equine diseases of concern from these areas. The final rule goes into effect on October 16, 2023.