Importing Live Sheep, Goats, and Germplasm into the United States

Last Modified: June 13, 2024
sheep and goat

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.

View Countries From Which Sheep, Goats, and Their Germplasm May Be Imported

Requirements

Australia; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  • Australia (Import protocol and health certificate being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

New Zealand; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Miscellaneous

Australia (Import protocol being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

European Union; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  1. Importers or their designated agents must provide documentation of the destination facility premise registration premises ID assigned and recorded in the Surveillance Collaborative System/ Scrapie (SCS SCR) with the permit application.
  2. There are also post-import requirements (136.38 KB) for each facility using this commodity.

Iceland; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  1. Importers or their designated agents must provide documentation of the destination facility premise registration premises ID assigned and recorded in the Surveillance Collaborative System/ Scrapie (SCS SCR) with the permit application.
  2. There are also post-import requirements (136.38 KB) for each facility using this commodity.

New Zealand (protocol is being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

United Kingdom

There are specific post-arrival requirements for imports of sheep and goat semen from Canada, the European Union, Iceland and the United Kingdom (136.38 KB).

Australia 

  • Protocol is being updated; a permit and export health certificate are required.

New Zealand

  • Protocol is being updated; a permit and export health certificate are required.

United Kingdom

  • An import permit and export health certificate are required.

**Post Entry Requirements: There are specific post-entry requirements for imports of sheep and goat embryos from the United Kingdom (287.21 KB).

  1. Eligibility for Import
    • Sheep and goat in-vivo embryos or oocytes may only be imported from the United Kingdom:
      • For transfer to recipient females in the U.S. if the flock or herd where the recipients reside is listed in the National Scrapie Database; or
      • To an APHIS-approved embryo storage facility where they may be kept until being transferred to recipient females in a flock or herd in the U.S. listed in the APHIS National Scrapie Database.
  2. Import Permit: An import permit is required. The application, VS Form 17-129 “Application for Import or in Transit Permit”, is best filed electronically using the eFile system. Alternatively, Form 17-129 can be obtained by downloading from the APHIS web site, or emailing laipermits@usda.gov. Please allow 7-10 business days for permit processing.
    • When applying for an import permit, the following information must be provided:
      • Documentation confirming the flock identification number of the destination flock/premises.
      • Documentation confirming the premises identification number of the destination flock/premises as listed in the National Scrapie Database.
      • Confirmation that the importer has read and understands the post-entry requirements (287.21 KB)
  3. Export Health Certificates:
  4. Post-Entry and Additional Requirements:
    • Post-entry requirements pertaining to the imported embryos/oocytes and resulting offspring apply and will need to be met by the importer of record. These requirements will be outlined in the import permit and can also be found in detail at Post-entry Requirements for Imported Sheep and Goat Embryos from the United Kingdom (287.21 KB).
    • Additional Requirements: Importers are advised that individual states may have additional import requirements. It is the importer's responsibility to verify these conditions and to meet them. The importer should contact the U.S. State veterinarian (State Regulations and Import Requirements) of the destination state to determine these regulations.

View requirements for importing live sheep and goats and sheep and goat semen and embryos from Canada.

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. Notice Regarding APHIS Live Animal Import and Third-Country Import Transit Permits (272.29 KB).
  • Please note that any animals and their germplasm transiting the United States 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) to laipermits@usda.gov. To submit an import permit electronically, 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 Imports

For questions about import permits or permit applications:

Live Animal Import Permit Team

For general questions related to the import of a live animal:

Live Animal Import and Export