PROTOCOL FOR THE IMPORTATION OF EQUINE SEMEN FROM COUNTRIES FREE OF CONTAGIOUS EQUINE METRITIS (CEM)
- 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, Import-Export Animals Staff, Unit 39, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737. This permit must accompany the semen shipment from the country of origin to the United States. A $141.00 fee will be charged for each permit application.
- An official health certificate, written in English, is required. The official health certificate must be issued by a veterinarian designated by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country of origin attesting to the certifications and tests as required in this protocol.
- The semen must originate from an artificial insemination (AI) unit that is approved or licensed as an AI unit for export of equine semen to the United States by the national veterinary authorities in the country of origin.
Certification and Tests
- A phantom teaser mare is preferred; however, a live teaser mare may be used provided she has never been used for a natural or artificial breeding prior to entrance into the AI unit.
- All animals must be tested with negative results for dourine within 30 days of the date they enter the AI unit. Subsequent tests must be conducted at 180-day intervals if the animals remain in the AI unit.
- Stallions must not be used for natural breeding for a period of 15 days prior to the initial tests named in item 2 or while semen is being collected for export to the United States.
- Prior to use all equipment used to collect, process, and ship semen must either be new or cleaned and disinfected under supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the health certificate.
- If milk is used as a semen extender, it must originate from a country recognized as free of foot-and- mouth disease by USDA.
- If eggs are used as a semen extender, they must originate from poultry flocks that are certified free of exotic Newcastle disease by the national veterinary authorities in the country of origin.
- The semen must be collected and processed under the direct supervision of the designated veterinarian issuing the health certificate and placed in individual container or in straws permanently marked with the identification of the stallion, date of collection and A I unit. This information must be recorded on the health certificate.
- The semen must be maintained under lock and key or in the custody of the certifying veterinarian until it is placed in the shipping container and sealed with official seals of the government of the country of origin. The seal numbers must be recorded on the health certificate.
- The sealed shipping containers must be delivered to the nearest airport for direct shipment to the United States.
- Semen must be routed directly to the United States with no stops en route other than those provided for on the import permit.