APHIS Delays Published Interim Rule On Equine Importation

The USDA’s APHIS rule on the importation of horses from contagious equine metritis-affected countries has been delayed.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published an interim rule in the Federal Register on the importation of horses from contagious equine metritis-affected countries. The interim rule was published March 25. Implementation of the rule has been delayed until July 25.

“We consider the U.S. to be contagious equine metritis (CEM) free,” says Dr. Ellen Buck, senior staff veterinarian, Equine Imports, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS. “This is why the rule doesn’t include U.S. states. The 120-day delay will end July 25.”

APHIS’ rule change amending 9 CFR part 93, published at 76 FR 16683-16686 will now incorporate an additional certification requirement for imported horses 731 days of age or less and adding new testing protocols for test mares and imported stallions and mares more than 731 days of age.

“This action is necessary to provide CEM testing facilities time to make adjustments to their operating procedures that are necessary for the rule to be successfully implemented,” Dr. Buck says. “Once in place this will add security and protection against CEM to U.S. equine.”

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