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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Import of Live Water Buffalo and Yak

photo of water buffalo and yak

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.
  • Water Buffalo or Yak intended for breeding, feeding or immediate slaughter are not permitted into the United States at this time, EXCEPT for the following:
    • Yak intended for immediate slaughter can be imported into the US from Canada
    • Live water buffalo may be imported from Australia
    • Water Buffalo and Yak used for zoological purposes can be permitted into the US on a case by case basis after a full review by USDA APHIS depending on the country of origin. Please contact Live Animal Imports for more information.
  • Water buffalo and Yak germplasm may be imported from the EU

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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