Equine Semen Importation

Equine Semen Importation



  1. The U.S. importer must obtain an import permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export, Import Animals Staff, 4700 River Road, Unit 39, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231. This permit must accompany the semen shipment from the country of origin to the United States. A fee will be charged for each permit application. Permit application fees can be found here. Payment can be made by check or money order made out to USDA, APHIS, bank cards (VISA, Mastercard or American Express), or through established credit with the Agency.
  2. An official health certificate, written in English, is required. The international animal health certificate must be issued by a veterinarian designated by the national animal health service of the country of origin. The certificate must be endorsed by a salaried veterinarian of the national animal health service of the country of origin attesting to the certification and test as required in this protocol.
  3. The semen must originate from a semen collection unit that is approved or licensed by the government of the country in which the semen is collected and processed and under the general supervision of the national animal health service of the country.




  1. A phantom teaser mare is preferred; however, a live teaser mare may be used provided she has never been used for natural or artificial breeding prior to entrance into the semen collection unit.
  2. All animals must be tested with negative results for dourine within 30 days of the date they enter the semen collection unit. Subsequent test must be conducted at 180-day intervals if the animals remain in the semen collection unit.
  3. Stallions must not be used for natural breeding for a period of time starting 15 days prior to the initial tests named in paragraph 4.2 and continuing while the stallion is in the semen collection unit and while semen is being collected for export to the United States.
  4. Before semen is collected the stallions must be scrubbed and cultured negative for contagious equine metritis CEM utilizing the following procedure:
    1. For 5 consecutive days, the prepuce, penis, including fossa glandis, and urethral sinus of the stallion described on the health certificate must be aseptically cleaned and washed (scrubbed) while in full erection then treated with a solution of not less than 2 percent chlorhexidine. The entire penial area must then be thoroughly coated (packed) with an antibiotic ointment that is effective against the CEM agent. These procedures are performed under the supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the certificate.
    2. Beginning at least 7 days after the last consecutive day of scrubbing and packing, three separate sets of three specimens each are collected from the stallion described on the certificate at intervals of not less than 72 hours between the collection of each set. The collections must be made from the surface on the fossa glandis, the area of the urethral process and into the urethral fossa, and the penile sheath respectively under the supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the certificate.
    3. All specimens collected as described in paragraph 4.2 above must be cultured and found to be negative for CEM prior to the release of the stallion and semen from quarantine. Collection of the semen can begin after the first set of specimens are cultured negative.


  1. Prior to use all equipment used to collect, process, and ship the semen was new or cleaned and disinfected under supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the health certificate.
  2. If milk is used in the semen extender, it must originate from a country recognized as free of foot-and- mouth disease by USDA.
  3. If eggs are used in the semen extender, they must originate from poultry flocks that are certified free of viscerotropic veloginic Newcastle disease by the national animal health service in the country of origin.
  4. The semen was collected and processed under the supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the health certificate and placed in individual containers or in straws which are permanently marked with the identification of the donor, the date of collection, and AI unit. This information is recorded on the health certificate.
  5. The semen must be maintained under lock and key or in the custody of the certifying veterinarian until it was placed in the shipping container and sealed with Government seals. The seal numbers are recorded on the health certificate.
  6. The sealed shipping containers must be delivered to the nearest airport for direct shipment to the United States.
  7. Semen was routed directly to the United States with no stops en route other than those provided for on the import permit.







Last Modified: October 3, 2011


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