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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Import of Live Cattle, Bison and Germplasm to the United States

photo of various cows in enclosure

USDA APHIS regulates the importation of all ruminants and their germplasm (embryos/oocytes, semen, cloning tissue) to prevent the spread of animal diseases. Ruminants include all animals which chew the cud, such as cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, deer, antelopes, camels, llamas and giraffes.

The following animals are defined as a bovine by USDA APHIS: Bos taurus, Bos indicus and Bison bison.

For more information on import requirements for live cattle or Bison from Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, please proceed to the Import of Live Cattle/Bison, Semen & Embryos page.

General protocols/guidelines specific to bovines:

What You Need to Know

  • U.S. transits are classified as shipments presented to a U.S. port of entry for conveyance purposes to then be transported to a destination country shortly after.
  • Please note that any animals and their germplasm transiting the US must not transit countries with questionable disease statuses prior to reaching a U.S. port of entry.
  • All transits require a contingency plan. Please submit your contingency plan with your permit application (VS 17-129) on the E-permits website or via email at LAIPermits@usda.gov

To submit an import permit electronically, please visit APHIS eFile.

If you are applying to import live animals, semen and embryos, you may submit applications by email to LAIPermits@usda.gov

Contact Us

Live Animal Import/Export and Permitting
USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services
4700 River Road Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
Phone: 301.851.3300 Option 2

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