WEG horses jumping through hoops to even BE here!

dressageWhen you see a horse at the Kentucky Horse Park during the WEG you be sure to congratulate his or her handlers for having negotiated their way through some of the craziest ever sets of rules and regulations to get that equine onto the premises. For starters the US has a set of rules (see below) then add the great state of Kentucky’s own set and finish up with a nice layer from the FEI. Who Nelly – these people are motivated, Charlie. They could have spent their time getting a law degree but instead they spent it filling out paper work for these various agencies on behalf of their steeds.

virus cartoonMind you – these same requirements hold fast for all the breed demo horses too. So those folks who don’t even stand to win a prize have jumped through some serious hoops as well. So thank ’em. This is no small thing they’ve accomplished! And by the way, lest you think this is all just paperwork headaches – one of the dressage horses from Portugal had a bad reaction to one of the necessary vaccinations while newly arrived in country and has died as a result. He was administered by the team vet – so at least it wasn’t an American made snafu – or was it. Are these requirements too stringent?


General Requirements

Horses and other equines imported into the United States from countries affected with screwworm or Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) must undergo a 7-day quarantine on arrival in the U.S.

List of countries that USDA considers to be affected with screwworm

Countries affected by VEE include all countries in the Western hemisphere, except Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands.

Equines imported from countries affected with African Horse Sickness must undergo a 60-day quarantine on arrival in the U.S. The list of countries from which horses are required to undergo a 60-day quarantine currently includes Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Yemen Arab Republic, and all countries in Africa except Morocco.

Horses or other equines that are imported from other countries must undergo a 3-day quarantine on arrival in the U.S.


Stallions and mares over 731 days of age imported from countries affected with Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) are subject to additional requirements. Refer to the import requirements for horses from CEM-affected countries for more information.

Horses and accompanying equipment (e.g., tack trunks, saddles, containers) imported from countries affected with Foot-and-mouth disease are subject to additional requirements. Refer to the import requirements for horses imported from countries affected with Foot-and-mouth disease for more information.

Current lists of the disease status for various countries and diseases may be found at this website.

In addition, the U.S. state of destination may have other health requirements that may need to be met. Check with the receiving state for their health requirements.

Horses undergoing entry quarantine will be tested by USDA on arrival. No testing is required prior to export. However, importers may wish to verify that the horse is not positive for dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis, and equine infectious anemia (EIA) before exporting. Horses that test positive by USDA for any of these diseases upon arrival will be refused entry.


With the exception of horses originating from Canada, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies, an import permit may be required.

Download the Application for Import or In Transit Permit form VS Form 17-129

The fee for processing the permit application is $137.

The completed form should be mailed or faxed to the USDA Animal Import Center at which the horse will be quarantined (see contact information below).

An official health certificate, issued by the full-time salaried veterinary officer of the national government of the exporting country in which the horse has been residing for the 60 days preceding export to the United States, must accompany horses and other equines at the time of presentation for entry to the U.S.


Certification Statements

The official health certificate must include statements that the horse has:

(a) Resided in the exporting county for 60 days immediately preceding importation to the United States. If that has not been the case, then the official veterinarian from a country where the horse has been for 60 days prior to importation into the United States must issue the health certificate.

(b) Not been in a country where contagious equine metritis (CEM) is known to exist, nor has had any contact with horses, by breeding or in any manner exposed, from such a country, for the 12 months preceding exportation.

(c) Not been on a premises where African horse sickness, dourine, glanders, surra, epizootic lymphangitis, ulcerative lymphangitis, equine piroplasmosis, equine infectious anemia (EIA), contagious equine metritis (CEM), vesicular stomatitis, or Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis has occurred during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation, nor have any of these disease occurred on any adjoining premised during the same period of time.

(d) Not been vaccinated for any diseases during the 14 days immediately preceding exportation.

(e) Been inspected and found to be free of contagious diseases and insofar as can be determined, exposure thereto during the 60 days immediately preceding exportation.

(f) Been inspected and found free from ectoparasites.

Point of Entry Quarantine

Current USDA fees for horse import quarantine

To reserve space at a USDA-operated quarantine facility, contact the port veterinarian at one of the following USDA operated Animal Import Centers (AIC):

New York Animal Import Center
474 International Blvd
Rock Tavern, NY 12575
(845) 564-2950 Office
(845) 564-1075 Fax
Los Angeles Import Center
11850 S. La Cienega Blvd
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 725-1970 Office
(310)725-9119 Fax
Miami Animal Import Center
6300 NW 36 Street
Miami, FL 33122
(305) 526-2926 Office
(305) 526-2929 Fax

Tests Required for Entry

Tests for dourine, glanders, equine piroplasmosis, and EIA will be conducted by USDA during quarantine (horses from New Zealand and Australia are exempt from dourine and glanders testing). The official tests are complement fixation for dourine and glanders, cELISA for piroplasmosis, and AGID for EIA. For specific information about import requirements, please contact the Area Veterinarian in Charge, the USDA Animal Import Center, the Regional Office, or the National Center for Import and Export.

Test results from National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) are generally available 3 days after the date of arrival of the horses. Horses that test positive for any of these diseases will be refused entry into the United States.


Countries that USDA Considers to be Affected with Screwworm:

Angola Haiti Philippines
Argentina India Qatar
Bahrain Indonesia Rwanda
Bangladesh Iraq Saudi Arabia
Benin Isla de Pascua (Easter Island, part of Chile) Senegal
Bolivia Ivory Coast Sierra Leone
Botswana Jamaica Singapore
Brazil Kenya South Africa
Brunei Kuwait Spratly Islands
Burkina Faso Laos Sri Lanka
Burundi Lesotho Surinam
Cambodia Liberia Swaziland
Cameroon Macau Taiwan
Central African Republic Malawi Tanzania
China Malaysia Thailand
Columbia Mali Togo
Congo Mauritania Trinidad and Tobago
Dominican Republic Mozambique Uganda
Ecuador Myanmar United Arab Emirates
Equatorial Guinea Namibia Uruguay
French Guinea Nigeria Venezuela
Gabon Oman Vietnam
Gambia Pacific Islands (Palau) Zaire
Ghana Papua New Guinea Zambia
Guinea Paraacel Islands Zimbabwe
Guinea-Bissau Paraguay
Guyana Peru

*Or any other part of the world where screwworm is considered to exist.


See what I’m saying? And this is just for entry into the states – add another volume and a slew of checks for the state of Kentucky AND the

Fédération Equestre Internationale.



One Response to “WEG horses jumping through hoops to even BE here!”

  1. “WEG horses jumping through hoops to even BE here! |
    WegWag” was in fact in fact compelling and insightful!
    In the present day universe that is really hard to manage.
    Many thanks, Lori

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