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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Horses returning to the U.S.

Generally, U.S. horses that travel abroad must enter quarantine upon their return before being permitted full re-entry to the U.S.  However, U.S.-origin horses that travel exclusively to Canada do not need to be quarantined.  The re-entry requirements – including the length of quarantine – depend on the country or countries visited, the route of travel, and the length of time spent outside of the U.S. 

Choose the country/countries where your horse travelled before returning to the US to determine if your horse is eligible for a 3, 7, or 60 day quarantine upon return.  By visiting each country’s page, you can determine the length of quarantine and required certification statements.  If your horse is spending less than 60 days outside of the U.S., you will need the original U.S. export health certificate in addition to health certificates issued by an official full-time salaried veterinarian in each country visited prior to returning.

Equine Import and Export Information

Going to a CEM-Affected Country? Request Your Import Permit Now to Avoid CEM Quarantine When Returning

If your mare or stallion is over 731 days of age, will be overseas for less than 60 days, and is travelling to a country affected by Contagious Equine Metritis, we strongly recommend getting an import permit now so that you can avoid additional quarantine time upon returning to the U.S.

Supplemental Document for the Temporary Exportation of Horses from the United States to a Contagious Equine Metritis Affected Country (Eligible for Three Day Quarantine)

It is our standard procedure to quarantine mares and stallions over 731 days of age for CEM after they are released from federal or private import quarantine before they are permitted to enter the U.S.  However, some animals may qualify for a waiver if specific conditions are met, and if certification statements are endorsed by a full time-salaried veterinary official in each country visited while abroad.
  1. The returning horse must be accompanied by a health certificate with the appropriate certification statements dependent on the country or countries visited.  These are the same standard health statements expected to appear on the health certificate of any horse entering the U.S.
  2. The returning horse must be accompanied by a health certificate, or supplemental addendum, containing specific statements issued and endorsed by an official full-time salaried veterinary official in each CEM-affected country that the horse visited.  The following statements must appear on the endorsed health certificate or addendum:
    1. The horse was held separate and apart from all other horses except for the time it was actually participating in an event or was being exercised by its trainer.
    2. The premises on which the horse was held were not used for any equine breeding purpose.
    3. The horse was not bred to or bred by any animal, nor did it have any other sexual contact or genital examination while in such region.
    4. All transport while in such region was carried out in cleaned and disinfected vehicles in which no other horses were transported since such cleaning and disinfection.
  3. The total time elapsed between the departure of the horse from the U.S. and its reentry into the U.S. cannot exceed 60 calendar days.  The 60 calendar days, is still applicable even if part of the itinerary includes countries not considered affected by CEM.
  4. An import permit, issued by the USDA, must be obtained prior to departure with the date of departure, date of return, and countries to be visited declared.  Any deviation from the declared itinerary should be reported to the office that issued the import permit, so that it can be amended.
  5. As the horse was temporarily exported from the U.S., it will need to be accompanied by either, the original U.S. health certificate or a certified copy of the original U.S. health certificate that it was exported on, along with the documentation mentioned in #1 and #2.
  6. The horse must be examined by an inspector at the U.S. port of entry and found to be identical to the horse covered by the documents required above, in addition to being found free of communicable diseases and exposure to diseases of concern.
  7. The horse must be quarantined and tested at the U.S. port of entry prior to release.  To determine the specific requirements and length of quarantine for the horse based on the exporting country, please select an exporting country below.
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