The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to its import regulations for horses. These proposed amendments would better align our regulations with international standards and allow both APHIS and the equine industry more flexibility for permitted imports, while continuing to mitigate the risk of bringing equine diseases, such as contagious equine metritis (CEM), into the United States. The proposed regulations also provide APHIS with more regulatory authority to enforce standards for transporting horses.
The proposed changes include:
Of particular concern is CEM, a venereal disease caused by the bacterium Taylorella equigenitalis. The disease only affects horses, and it can have a significant impact on reproduction. CEM does not affect people. The United States is considered CEM free and therefore horses imported into the United States must meet certain import criteria or undergo CEM quarantine procedures at an approved facility to demonstrate that CEM is not present.
This proposed rule is on display in today’s Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-25613/import-regulations-for-horses. Beginning Monday, members of the public may submit comments through either of the following methods:
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